Manchester United unveil new fan advisory board, with Glazers promising to attend meetings

Manchester United unveil new fan advisory board structure, with Glazers promising to attend meetings once a year as the club seeks to get supporters on the side after furious protests in April

  • One of Man United’s owners, Joel or Avram Glazer, will attend meetings with fans
  • The club has announced a new fan advisory board to allay supporters’ concerns
  • The announcement is in response to a dissent against the owners among fans
  • It comes after the Liverpool match was postponed due to protests from fans

One of Manchester United’s much-maligned owners, Joel and Avram Glazer, will attend the annual meetings as the club announce a new fan advisory board in a bid to quell growing supporters’ disagreements against the owners.

The 20-time England 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 presidents, the two Glazer brothers, would attend meetings once a year.

Joel Glazer (right) and brother Avram (left) have pledged to attend Man United fan meetings

United fans protested on May 2, leading to their match against Liverpool being postponed

United fans protested on May 2, leading to their match against Liverpool being postponed

The club first unveiled plans for a fan advisory board after Joel Glazer attended his first fan forum in June, some 16 years after his family took over the club in a highly controversial takeover.

United said they were now finalizing those plans and an expanded Fans’ Forum following further talks with Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST) and other fan groups.

Large swaths of United supporters have opposed the Glazer family since the takeover in 2005, leaving the club £558 million in debt.

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 massive out-of-game protests.

In May this year, fans, fueled by anger at the club’s role in launching the doomed European Super League, burst onto the pitch at Old Trafford for a Premier League game with Liverpool, marking the biggest game of the season. English football had to be postponed.

Joel Glazer first attended a United fans forum in June, a month after the protest

Joel Glazer first attended a United fans forum in June, a month after the protest

United’s chief operating officer Roche said: “We are pleased with the progress made so far in 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 fans’ role 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-chairs will attend at least once a year.

The Fan Forum continues to exist as a broader representative body that meets quarterly to answer fan questions, increasing the number of members from 11 to 16.

United set up the fans' advisory board to prevent growing disagreements against the Glazers

United set up the fans’ advisory board to prevent growing disagreements against the Glazers

“Additions to the Forum include representatives of the Manchester United Women Supporters’ Club, youth supporters under 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 bond between the two bodies, and MUST will have seats on both bodies. The recruitment of both agencies will start in the coming weeks.’

United also said progress has been made in discussions with MUST to establish a mutually beneficial fanshare arrangement, which would give fans access to a new class of shares, each with the same high voting rights as those of the Glazer family.

“Detailed work continues, supported by expert advisors, on the structure of the potential fanshare scheme and more information will be shared in due course,” United added.

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