Joel Glazer comments on Man Utd fan ownership after club's supporters meeting

The Glazer family member discussed a range of topics in a landmark fans forum last Friday, including the notion of more power being given to...

The Glazer family member discussed a range of topics in a landmark fans forum last Friday, including the notion of more power being given to Red Devils supporters in club decisions such as the European Super League


Manchester United Executive Co-Chairman Joel Glazer has commented on potential fan ownership at Old Trafford after he met with supporters over Zoom last week.

Following 16 years of silence, Glazer took part in an online fans forum on Friday with the proposed hope of sparking a 'new era of dialogue' between the club's hierarchy and its fan base.

The Glazer family took over at the Theatre of Dreams in controversial circumstances in 2005 and have been heavily criticised since their much-maligned acquisition.

From declining success on the pitch to infrastructure issues at the 74,000-plus-seater stadium, widespread contempt from supporters has only grown, particularly since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager and Ed Woodward's time in the boardroom.

Scrutiny on the Glazer family has signifcantly increased since the failed launch of the European Super League
Scrutiny on the Glazer family has signifcantly increased since the failed launch of the European Super League 

Dissatisfaction hit a new low last month when United's home match against Liverpool was postponed after anti-Glazer protesters broke into Old Trafford as they demanded more of a say in how the club was run.

The over two-hour-long meeting was reported on by The Athletic, who detailed what was discussed between 11 fan representatives and club figures.

Supporters are said to have been in discussions with the club - through the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) - since last October regarding the acquisition of fan shares and gaining new voting rights.

The club Fan Advisory Board and a Fan Share Scheme are set to soon be created at Old Trafford, and a statement read: “The club has been in discussions with MUST regarding a fan share scheme for a number of months and has already sought external legal advice on options.

Discussions will now intensify, with the aim of agreeing a plan before the start of the new season.

Finance director Hemen Tseayo commented that "the fans will be treated like a seventh Glazer," in regards to their power.

Glazer said he “didn’t oppose” the idea of “fans owning as many shares as possible and building up a meaningful stake” but did not outline any parameters such as a cap on shares.

The 50-year-old claimed it could create the largest fan ownership in world sport and help reset the relationship between supporters and the club's hierarchy.

The American also reportedly said that the Red Devils would fully work with the UK Government for their upcoming fan-led review, noting the issues within the English football pyramid.

United supporters made their feelings known during their only home match of the season with spectators admitted in May
United supporters made their feelings known during their only home match of the season with spectators admitted in May 


One major criticism of the ownership has been the annual dividends taken out of the club by the family.

Glazer described the amounts as “modest” as well as claiming the cash sums were "less than three per cent of our revenue” and that the dividends had "never stood in the way of transfers."

Interestingly, as the Jadon Sancho saga rumbles on, he revealed: “We may have walked away from a transfer because the other side wanted outlandish numbers."

The state of Old Trafford itself is another issue, with Glazer adding: “Old Trafford is at the heart of Manchester United and while we have spent over £100 million over the last 10 years on infrastructure projects, we will now accelerate the process of planning much more significant investment and upgrades to the stadium.

Rest assured, we will consult with supporters throughout the process to end up with a result we can all be proud of," he stated as he promised investment.

The same goes for our training ground. Preliminary planning work is already underway and there will be significant funding available to further enhance our facilities and ensure they remain world-class.”

Most notably, Glazer told the representatives: “It has to be less about words. It has to be about action."

Time will tell if that sentiment holds true.

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