Joel Glazer meets United fans again

Friday 24 September 2021 21:30

Joel Glazer has given an update on Manchester United’s efforts to strengthen engagement with fans and reiterated the club’s commitment to investment in Old Trafford and the Carrington training ground.

The comments were made to the latest quarterly meeting of the Manchester United Fans’ Forum at Old Trafford on Friday, with Joel joining via video link from the US.

The co-chairman told fan representatives that “a lot of progress” had been made since his first appearance at the Forum last June, when he set out plans for a series of measures to improve dialogue with fans.

Friday’s meeting was attended by several new Forum members who have joined as part of efforts to make the body stronger and more diverse. These included new representatives for under-21 fans, international fans, and the Manchester United Women Supporters’ Club.  

“We said a few months ago it was important that we expand this Forum to have a more diverse representation of our fan base, and I think we're taking good steps in that direction,” Joel said.
Avram and Joel Glazer, pictured at Old Trafford.
At his June meeting with the Forum, Joel set out plans to create a Fans’ Advisory Board as an additional channel for consultation, and a Fans’ Share Scheme, to create a vehicle for mass fan ownership of shares in the club.

Updating on these initiatives, Joel said on Friday that recruitment to the Fans’ Advisory Board was at an advanced stage and that talks with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust about the share scheme were making good progress.

“There's still work to be done. It's rather complex, I think everyone's realising as they get deeper into it. But we're jumping those hurdles,” said Joel. “We'll continue to progress, and hopefully bring it to a conclusion in the not-too-distant future.”

Joel said preliminary work was also under way on plans for significant upgrades for Old Trafford and Carrington, although he cautioned that neither project would happen overnight. 

“It's going to be a process…and everybody's working to move that along,” he added.
Turning to on-field matters, Joel reiterated that “the most important thing is always on-the-pitch success” and he voiced his excitement about the season ahead following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and Tom Heaton, and the arrivals of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.

“We’re very happy with the summer,” he said, while adding that the process of squad development was ongoing. “We can always improve. There’s always more work to be done.”

Concluding his remarks, Joel talked about how emotional he felt seeing Old Trafford full again this season after almost 18 months playing behind closed doors. 

“Having a full stadium…just reiterated what everyone's always known about how crucial fans are. They are the lifeblood of football…So it has just been wonderful seeing a full Old Trafford.”

The two-hour meeting covered issues ranging from the roll out of digital ticketing to progress towards improving wifi coverage around Old Trafford.

United undertake Carrington upgrade project article

The club is investing significantly in new and improved facilities at our training centre.

Collette Roche, Manchester United’s Chief Operating Officer, highlighted the important role played by the Forum and fan groups in pushing for a series of fan-friendly initiatives which have been adopted by the club this season, including deeper discounts for under-16 fans attending Old Trafford, reduced beer prices, and a trial of barrier seating. 

These tangible results demonstrated the benefits of strong dialogue with fans, she added.

“We're not complacent and we've still got a lot of things we need to work through,” said Collette. “But we’ve set off on a good foot, starting to work in partnership…so long may that continue.”

The full minutes of the meeting will be published next week.

Recommended: