Manchester United held an emergency fans’ forum meeting this afternoon.
A letter was written to the club and read out to Ed Woodward, which can be seen here.
This allowed fans a chance to ask questions about the European Super League, betrayal from the owners and fellow suits, but judging by Ed Woodward’s response he will try to put it in one ear and out the other. After all, it won’t be long before all he has to worry about are grapes at his vineyard which could see Gary Lineker lose a favourite neighbour.
A Manchester United spokesperson said: “Senior club leaders, including Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward, met with our Fans’ Forum this morning to discuss concerns related to the abandoned proposals for a European Super League. Ed reiterated our apology for the mistakes made and we listened carefully to the strong views eloquently expressed by the fan representatives. We remain committed to engagement with the Fans’ Forum to ensure that fan interests are understood and respected in future.”
Joel Glazer addressed the fans in a written apology last week, but he side-stepped the call this morning. None of the Glazers want to hear the music which is why our fight shouldn’t end here.
At the start of the fans’ forum meeting, Woodward made the following remarks: “Welcome everyone to today’s meeting of the Fans’ Forum and thank you for making the time to be here at short notice.
“I hope that – notwithstanding current issues – we were all able to enjoy the performance and result last night, which demonstrated once again the progress being made under Ole.
“Clearly, it was important to convene the Forum in short order to provide an opportunity for you to express your opinions and discuss recent events.
“We will provide as many answers as we can today but, mostly, we want to listen. It’s clear we did not do enough of that before the Super League decision. Today is our first step towards putting that right.
“You will all have read Joel’s open letter to fans last week apologising for the Super League decision and I would like to add my personal apology to this Forum.
“I know that you will feel angry and let down by the lack of consultation and by the way the proposal failed to recognise the vital principle of open competition. Proper discussion would have helped us avoid the mistake we made.
“While there would have been a substantial increase in solidarity payments from the leading clubs to the rest of the pyramid across Europe, we fully accept that there were fundamental elements which were badly misjudged.
“As Joel said last week, we failed to give enough weight to the essential principles and traditions of sporting merit which are so vital to football not just in domestic competition but in European competition since the mid-1950s.
“We want to restate our commitment to those traditions. I can assure you that we have learned our lesson from the events of the past week and we do not seek any revival of the Super League plans.
“Manchester United is fortunate to be in a relatively stronger position than many clubs because of the resilience of our self-sustaining model.
“We have a disciplined, long-term approach which has allowed us to navigate the pandemic, while continuing to invest in the team, which we will continue to do this summer.
“We will now continue working with the rest of the football community to address the long-term challenges facing the game.
“But I can assure you that we will be doing that with great sensitivity to the opinions that you and other fans have expressed in recent days.
“We will be listening closely to your feedback today, and we’ll be taking it away for consideration as we review how we can engage more effectively with you in future.
“Thank you again for the passion you show for our club, and for your service to this incredibly important Forum.
“As Joel said last week, our fans are what makes Manchester United so great, and they should always be at the heart of this club.”
If Woodward actually read the letter written by fans, he would know that referencing Joel Glazer’s apology is not going to do him any favours. His apology wasn’t accepted and the Glazers are not welcome in Manchester.
Listen…. and read carefully.