Welcome back to Old Trafford
Welcome to the 2023/2024 Premier League season which everyone at Manchester United is looking forward to with great optimism.
We enter the new season following a busy pre-season Tour which included eight fixtures against top-class opposition in Europe and the United States, providing great preparation for Erik and the team as well as fantastic opportunities to engage with United fans across the five countries we visited.
It was a privilege to meet so many of our loyal fans during the tour and to celebrate the launch of seven new official supporters’ clubs in the US, taking our total to 284 in 94 countries.
Back in Manchester, we have been working hard to complete a busy schedule of summer development work at Old Trafford, including installation of an additional 2,000 rail seats in the Stretford End following positive feedback and consultation with key stakeholders, including the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and our own leading fan groups.
We now have more than 6,000 rail seats across the stadium, following on from the successful installations in the North-East Quadrant and in the away section, and we will continue to consider further rollouts in due course to improve safety and choice for fans around the stadium.
Fans will also be able to connect to our new ultra-fast free stadium Wi-Fi network, which is now fully operational following the successful trial in the final games of last season. The scale of this project has been huge, with over 1,600 access points installed – the largest of its kind in the UK.
An upgraded till system has also been installed across the stadium which allows us to make a wider range of quality products available at affordable prices and reduce queues at our concourse kiosks – we are also proud to continue to serve the cheapest pint of beer in the Premier League.
We also remain committed to ensuring our fans have an enjoyable and safe experience at Old Trafford and will continue to tackle individuals who compromise this, whether it be smoke bombs or pyrotechnics on the footprint or inside the stadium bowl, object throwing or pitch invasions.
Through our ‘All Red All Equal’ campaign we will keep working with the wider footballing family to also stamp out discriminatory abuse at our stadium and online, taking firm action against ‘tragedy chanting’, or any behaviour that mocks football-related tragedies and deaths.
Many of the positive changes and improvements to the way we operate are a result of constructive consultation with our supporters via the Fans’ Forum and the Fans’ Advisory Board. On Friday we published our Fan Engagement Plan which sets out our plans to further strengthen fan relations this season.
Finally, I am sure you will join me in offering support to our women players Katie Zelem, Ella Toone and Mary Earps as they compete for England in the final stages of the FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. We look forward to welcoming them and our other World Cup players back to Manchester (after a well-earned break) for the start of the new Women’s Super League season in October, as we aim to build on the continued growth in support for the women’s game.
To this end, we were delighted to announce that we will be hosting the WSL Manchester derby at Old Trafford in November with the aspiration to set a record attendance – tickets are now on sale and we hope you will join us for that match.
Thank you for your dedicated support. We look forward to welcoming many of you back to Old Trafford tonight, and we anticipate many exciting moments ahead in a new season which is full of promise – on and off the pitch.