Manchester United reveal new fan advisory board structure with Glazers promising to attend meetings once a year as club looks to get supporters onside following furious April protests
- One of Man United’s owners Joel or Avram Glazer will attend meetings with fans
- The club announced a new fan advisory board to address supporter concerns
- The announcement is a reaction to a dissent against the owners among fans
- It comes after the game with Liverpool was postponed due to fan protests
One of Manchester United’s much-maligned owners, Joel and Avram Glazer, are to attend annual meetings as the club announced a new fans advisory board in a bid to quell growing dissent from supporters against the owners.
The 20-times English champions said in a statement that the board would consist of ‘seven senior fan representatives and up to five club executives’.
United’s chief operating officer Collette Roche added that one of the club’s co-executive chairmen, the two Glazer brothers, would attend meetings once a year.
Joel Glazer (right) and brother Avram (left) have pledged to attend Man United fans’ meetings
United fans staged a protest on May 2 which led to their game with Liverpool being postponed
The club first revealed plans for a fan advisory board after Joel Glazer attended his first fans’ forum in June, some 16 years after his family acquired the club in a highly controversial takeover.
United said they were now finalising those plans and also an expanded Fans’ Forum following further talks with Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) and other fan groups.
Large sections of United supporters have opposed the Glazer family ever since the 2005 takeover, which piled £558million of debt on to the club.
A group of supporters were so outraged by the takeover that they formed their own non-league club, FC United of Manchester.
In 2010 fans stepped up their opposition to the American owners with several mass protests outside matches.
In May of this year, fuelled by anger over the club’s role in launching the doomed European Super League, supporters managed to invade the pitch at Old Trafford before a Premier League game with Liverpool, forcing English football’s biggest fixture to be postponed.
Joel Glazer attended a United fans’ forum for the first time in June, a month after the protest
United’s chief operating officer Roche said: ‘We are pleased with the progress made so far towards building a framework for more effective engagement between the club and its supporters.
‘As Joel Glazer told the Fans’ Forum in June, we are committed to strengthening fan representation and the role of fans at the heart of the club; and the new Fan Advisory Board and expanded Fans’ Forum will help that process.’
United said the fan advisory board will meet quarterly and one of the club’s executive co-chairmen would attend at least once a year.
The fans’ forum will remain in place as a wider representative body meeting quarterly to address fan questions, with members increasing from 11 to 16.
United have set up the fans’ advisory board to stave off growing dissent against the Glazers
‘Additions to the Forum will include representatives for the Manchester United Women Supporters’ Club, youth supporters under the age of 21, and international members,’ the club said.
‘The Fans’ Forum will then elect two of its members to the Fan Advisory Board to ensure a strong connection between the two bodies, and MUST will have seats on both bodies. Recruitment to the two bodies will begin in the coming weeks.’
United said progress had also been made in talks with MUST about the creation of a mutually beneficial fan share scheme, which would give fans access to a new class of shares each with the same high-vote rights as those held by the Glazer family.
‘Detailed work is continuing, supported by expert advisers, on the structure of the potential fan share scheme and more information will be shared in due course,’ United added.
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