Manchester United launch fan advisory board after promising better relationship with supporters in wake of European Super League debacle… with Joel Glazer to attend inaugural meeting in January
- Seven fan representatives have been appointed to Man United advisory board
- They promised better relationship with fans after the Super League debacle
- United’s group managing director Richard Arnold is one of two chairmen
- Joel Glazer, the club’s co-chairman, will attend the inaugural meeting in January
Manchester United have launched their new Fans’ Advisory Board and revealed the names of the representatives who will serve on it.
United declared their commitment to building a better relationship with supporters in the wake of the failed European Super League that sparked a backlash against the club’s American owners earlier this year.
Co-chairman Joel Glazer, who has appeared at two fans’ forums since the ESL debacle and promised to set up a fans’ share scheme, will attend the inaugural meeting of the board next month.
Manchester United have announced the launch of their new Fans’ Advisory Board
United declared commitment to building a better relationship with fans after the European Super League debacle
United say the FAB has been set up ‘to create a channel for in-depth board-level consultation, with a focus on long-term strategic issues, including stadium development’.
Collette Roche, United’s chief 0perating officer, said: ‘The launch of the Fans’ Advisory Board is an historic step to ensure that the supporters’ perspective is always heard and understood right up to the highest levels of the club. This will improve decision-making and reduce the risk of conflict with fans on the most important issues.
‘We agree with the independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance that fans must have a strong voice in the running of the game, and we believe that our Fans’ Advisory Board and proposed Fans’ Share Scheme are consistent with that important goal.
‘We are delighted to have attracted such a high calibre of individuals to the Board, all with a strong passion for United combined with the skills to advocate on behalf of fans. I am looking forward to working with Chris and the other representatives to get the Board up and running and establish a key role for it at the heart of the club.’
It sparked a backlash against the club’s American owners Avram Glazer (left) and Joel Glazer (right) earlier this year
The club’s group managing director Richard Arnold (right) is one of two chairmen appointed
The FAB will be co-chaired by Christopher Saad, an experienced barrister and life-long Manchester United fan, and Richard Arnold, the club’s group managing director.
Saad said: ‘I’m delighted to have this opportunity to combine my professional skills with my lifelong passion for Manchester United as the first fan co-chair of the Fans’ Advisory Board.
‘I firmly believe that we will establish a positive new model for fan engagement in football. Sometimes there will be agreement, sometimes we will challenge hard. We will not shy away from frank discussion.
‘Our aim is to widen the areas of consensus and narrow differences, and to help maintain a healthy and successful football club which is in tune with its supporters. I look forward to working with my fellow fan representatives and club leaders in achieving those aims.’
Joel Glazer meanwhile will also attend the inaugural meeting of the board next month
Two members of the fans’ forum, Ian Stirling and Rick McGagh, have been elected to join the FAB, and they will be joined by Jonathan Deitch and Duncan Drasdo, chair and chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
The other two fan places will be taken by Deborah Henry, chair of the Manchester United Women’s Supporters’ Club, and Oli Winton, a senior communications consultant and long-time United fan activist.
Dave Pennington, a retired senior civil servant and board member of MUST and the Football Supporters’ Association, has been appointed special adviser to the co-chairs.
Meetings of the FAB will take place four times a year, with five senior club leaders also part of its permanent membership in addition to Arnold as co-chair.