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Man United CEO Richard Arnold is told he must ‘grow up’ by ex-Crystal Palace chief Simon Jordan

Simon Jordan has described Richard Arnold as a ‘gormless buffoon’ after the Manchester United chief was secretly filmed having a candid conversation with fans in a pub.

Footage of the discussion, in which Arnold criticized the transfer policy of his predecessor Ed Woodward and admits the club has ‘f***ing burn-through cash’, surfaced this weekend.

Arnold also said the past 12 months had been a ‘f***ing nightmare’ with English players returning to the club with their confidence ‘shot’ after their defeat in last summer’s Euro 2020 final.

Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold was secretly filmed by a group of fans he spoke to in a Cheshire pub - with the candid discussion leaking into the public domain

Manchester United CEO Richard Arnold was secretly filmed by a group of fans he spoke to in a Cheshire pub – with the candid discussion leaking into the public domain

United were disappointed that footage of the candid conversation, filmed by the fans in attendance, went viral on social media after Arnold asked them not to film the chat.

And former Crystal Palace chairman Jordan briefed Arnold on talkSPORT, saying he was “naive” to think details of the chat would not be leaked.

Jordan said, “Richard Arnold was in that meeting. When you’re so stupid and so stupid and so naive and so wet behind the ears that you sit there and think that what you say won’t find its way into the public domain, even through a belch from someone who verbally returns what you said or someone who is recording it, what the hell is wrong with you?’

When host Jim White replies that Arnold went into the meeting with “all his heart and good will,” perhaps not expecting it to leak, Jordan says, “Jim, be an adult. You enter a room, you are in a public domain environment.’

Later in their discussion, White says, “Maybe Richard Arnold thought ‘they’re not going to record this because I came here in good faith.”

But a scathing Jordan replies, “Then he’s a gormless buffoon, isn’t he?”

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan was scathing for Arnold on talkSPORT

Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan was scathing for Arnold on talkSPORT

The full exchange on talkSPORT

Simon Jordan: Richard Arnold was in that meeting. When you’re so stupid and so stupid and so naive and so wet behind the ears that you sit there and think that what you say won’t find its way into the public domain, even through a belch from someone who verbally returns what you said or someone who is recording it, what the hell is wrong with you.

Jim White: What did he say that wasn’t true?

Jordan: Nothing.

White: So what’s the problem? He goes there with all his heart and good will, sits across from them, is honest because he hasn’t said anything that isn’t true, and some character has a phone under the table that answers it.

Jordan: But Jim, be an adult. You enter a room, you are in a public domain environment.

White: Isn’t it about trust?

Jordan: Oh, get off it. It’s about being realistic. And besides, why wouldn’t Manchester United be happy with an iota of this content? It’s what their chief executive thinks, isn’t it? If you don’t think it, don’t say it.

Jordan [later]† As they walked through the door, Richard Arnold stood there with his small group and said, “I want you to sign a waiver saying you won’t include this?” Grow up, it’s the real world we live in.

White: Maybe Richard Arnold thought “they’re not going to record this because I came here in good faith.”

Jordan: Then he’s a gormless buffoon, isn’t he?

The footage of Arnold addressing fans in a pub close to his Cheshire home appeared on Saturday. In it, the United supremo also begged fans to end the protests that are ruining the mood at Old Trafford towards the end of the season.

It has been a year of discontent at United, who finished only sixth in the Premier League and failed in their other competitions after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and replaced by interim Ralf Rangnick.

They have now appointed Erik ten Hag as their new permanent manager, with the Dutchman facing a gigantic renovation.

In a statement on Sunday morning, a United spokesperson said: “Richard learned that a group of fans had gathered in a pub near his home.

The United chief labeled a 'nightmare' for the club last season as they finished sixth

The United chief labeled a ‘nightmare’ for the club last season as they finished sixth

Arnold (right) took over as CEO of United after Ed Woodward left in February

Arnold (right) took over as CEO of United after Ed Woodward left in February

“He went to them, bought them all a drink, listened to their opinions and explained what the club is doing to achieve success on the pitch, improve the stadium and strengthen the engagement with the fans.”

In an honest assessment of United’s recent history, Arnold told the group of supporters on Saturday: “We’ve spent £1 billion on players, more than anyone else in Europe.

‘I’m not happy where we are. I’m not feeling well and I’m worried about how we’re going to manage this in the future. What happened is we burned cash.

“You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the £1 billion is’ because historically we haven’t spent the money well.

“Last year was a terrible nightmare. There was hatred in every game. We have passed on a huge amount of money.’

Arnold insisted that there is a budget to strengthen the squad that Erik ten Hag has inherited

Arnold insisted that there is a budget to strengthen the squad that Erik ten Hag has inherited

Arnold said United were trying to make a deal for Barcelona and Holland star Frenkie de Jong

Arnold said United were trying to make a deal for Barcelona and Holland star Frenkie de Jong

Arnold also claimed that ‘money is not a consideration’ when it comes to pursuing Ten Hag’s transfer goals, with Barcelona and Holland midfielder Frenkie de Jong, worth £69m, topping the shopping list for the summer.

Arnold told the fans, “Money is no object to who we want.

“It’s that the manager wants him, that they’ve done the work to see if he’s a great player.

‘Is it £100 million or £200 million? I don’t know. Get who the fuck you want.’

He added, in a dig at Woodward’s practical approach to transfer negotiations: ‘Do you want me to buy the players? Doesn’t that ring a bell?’

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