Beer and chatter: Man U CEO meets disgruntled fans

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A small group of disgruntled Manchester United fans made their way to the home of the club’s chief executive to voice their concerns amid massive fan riots over Glazer family property and other concerns.

They probably got more than they bargained for.

A planned fan outcry turned into an impromptu pub get-together with CEO Richard Arnold, discussing topics ranging from the owners to the club’s financial troubles to the much publicized prosecution of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie. De Jong.

“Richard heard that a group of fans had gathered in a pub near his house,” United said.

“He met with them, gave everyone a drink, listened to their opinions and explained what the club is doing to succeed on the pitch, improve the stadium and strengthen the interaction with the fans.”

A video leaked on social media showed Arnold, who took over the role in February, making a rather blunt turnaround. It was unclear if he knew he was being filmed when he talked about how United had “burned money” and the need for more investment in facilities such as the stadium and training ground.

Greater supporter involvement is growing in importance among United supporters following increased hostility towards American property due to the Glazer family’s involvement in plans to launch a European Super League and a downturn in the fortunes of a team that hasn’t won a major trophy in five years.

Executive Co-Chair Joel Glazer attended the Fan Advisory Board in January and again in April as supporters expressed their anger at matches at Old Trafford at the end of another disappointing season.

the arrival of another new manager, the Dutchman Erik ten Hagand the departure of a number of players – Paul PogbaNemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, among others, who have been on high payrolls and out of work in recent seasons, means there may be cause for some quiet optimism ahead of the 2022-23 campaign starting in August.

United have yet to sign a signing as the pursuit of De Jong appears to be hitting a snag at a time when the team’s main rivals have struck their own big deals.

Manchester City have already signed Erling Haaland, one of the most sought-after players in the world, and another highly regarded young striker, Darwin Nunes, has joined Liverpool amid reports of interest from United. Tottenham and Arsenal have also been busy on the transfer market in the month since the end of the last domestic season.

In the leaked video, Arnold can be seen saying “the money the manager and the director of football needs is there” but it hasn’t been spent yet.

United have won more English league titles than any other team – 20 – but the last major trophy was the Europa League at the end of the 2016-17 season.

In the recently concluded season, United finished the league season in sixth place with 58 points, the worst result in the team’s history in the Premier League in terms of points scored.

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Steve Douglas

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