Manchester United have released the minutes from the fan forum held with Joel Glazer at the start of June.
You can read the entire 28-page document as PDF form here, after United provided a link this week.
The meeting details what we learned from the meeting earlier in the month, with extra colour, and a few added extras.
Glazer’s comments convey a figure who claims to care about the club, stating that he takes wins and losses personally, and says the reason for the lack of communication during 16 years as owners were due to a principle that owners should remain in the background.
Investment is pledged into the team, the stadium, and facilities. It all sounds good. The problem is the Glazers have no track record when it comes to trust with Manchester United fans.
Glazers words are at least ‘on record’, and provide further ammunition against him if he fails to deliver. The promises around investment are of course vague, lacking specifics.
Badge won’t change
One thing which won’t be changing is the club badge. This has been a peeve of supporters ever since the words ‘Football Club’ were removed back in 1998.
Asked about changing the badge back, Glazer said there were no plans to do so.
Glazer is quoted: “Regarding the badge, this has come up in two recent Fans’
Forums. Our priority is, and always will be football, but we don’t have plans to amend our current crest in the near future, because it will be complex and very challenging process given the intellectual property rights linked to it around the world.
“And as we’ve said before, it’s worth noting the crest has evolved through many iterations over the course of our history, so the words ‘football club’ were first used in the 1960s and remained there until 1998. But unlike some clubs our name is unique to us and instantly recognisable to people around the world as a football club regardless of whether those words are on the crest or not.”
No doubt it would be costly for United to make the change, but Glazer’s comments also speak to a lack of desire.
His words are also noteworthy due to a pledge made by chief executive Ed Woodward back in 2013, which invoked Glazer’s name, and the club failed to follow up on.
Quoted by The Independent in 2013, Woodward said: “I didn’t like that change of badge. Joel didn’t like that change. We will look at that and have a think about that. We are a football club, not a business.
“I described it to our staff that we are a 135-year-old club and that’s what you have to remember. We are a football club, a club with a capital C.”
All these years on little has changed and it looks like the current iteration of the club badge is here to stay, for better or worse.
Perhaps it could be argued that fixing up the stadium and training ground is a bigger priority, and if the owners can deliver on this, fair enough and let’s look at the badge issue later on. But we remain sceptical whether the Glazers can live up to any promises they make.
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