Woodward addresses Fans' Forum
Senior club leaders at Manchester United, including executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, met with our Fans’ Forum today to discuss concerns related to the abandoned proposals for a European Super League.
The fan representatives expressed anger over the club’s initial decision to support the Super League before backing out when the scale of fan opposition became clear. Woodward admitted the club did not do enough listening before the decision and he extended a personal apology to fans for the lack of consultation.
“I know that you will feel angry and let down by the lack of consultation and by the way the proposal failed to recognise the vital principle of open competition. Proper discussion would have helped us avoid the mistake we made,”he said.
“While there would have been a substantial increase in solidarity payments from the leading clubs to the rest of the pyramid across Europe, we fully accept that there were fundamental elements which were badly misjudged.
“As Joel said last week, we failed to give enough weight to the essential principles and traditions of sporting merit which are so vital to football not just in domestic competition but in European competition since the mid-1950s.
“We want to restate our commitment to those traditions. I can assure you that we have learned our lesson from the events of the past week, and we do not seek any revival of the Super League plans.
“Manchester United is fortunate to be in a relatively stronger position than many clubs because of the resilience of our self-sustaining model.
“We have a disciplined, long-term approach which has allowed us to navigate the pandemic, while continuing to invest in the team, which we will continue to do this summer.
“We will now continue working with the rest of the football community to address the long-term challenges facing the game.
“But I can assure you that we will be doing that with great sensitivity to the opinions that you and other fans have expressed in recent days.”
Woodward said the club would listen closely to their feedback.
“We will be listening closely to your feedback today, and we’ll be taking it away for consideration as we review how we can engage more effectively with you in future,”he said.
“As Joel said last week, our fans are what makes Manchester United so great, and they will always be at the heart of this club.”