Manchester United hosted their inaugural 'Fans Forum' on Friday afternoon, as the club attempts to rebuild bridges that were burnt during the European Super League fiasco.
The Red Devils were revealed as one of the driving forces behind the proposed breakaway competition in late April.
And its announcement sparked protests at Old Trafford – which culminated with the postponement of their Premier League clash with Liverpool.
In a report by The Athletic – Joel Glazer hosted a zoom call – with 11 representatives from different areas of the supporter base: United’s supporter groups, local fans, members of the Stretford End and family stand, etc.
After listening to the fans it came time for Glazer to speak, and he started with an apology.
Glazer purchased United in 2005, however, this was a unique occasion; it was the first time he had spoken to fans.
And Glazer acknowledged that fact as he spoke.
However, whilst the early signs were encouraging for reconnecting United – who are now a global superpower – back to the community, there remains a lot of work to be done.
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The group had prepared a statement for Glazer: “We want Manchester United to be the best football club in the world, both on and off the pitch," Richard McGagh told Glazer, and transcribed by The Athletic.
“We believe this is best achieved through fans — who are the club — having a much more active role in the way the club is run and how it operates."
The statement continued to talk about how they believe United's success should be measured; on-pitch success was paramount, of course, but also the community and development of youth players.
“Manchester United Football Club should always strive to be No 1 but should never arrogantly believe we are.
"…The club should use its position to do good for the wider game including clubs and fans at all levels."
The fans had proposed the club reassessing where their priorities laid, and whilst on-pitch success remained, they wanted more emphasises on local values.
The resounding theme of the statement was United has lost its way, and in doing so, has lost its connection with the fans.
A lot of work still has to be done, but opening communication between the board and the fans is a seismic step in the right direction for the Red Devils.
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