Home » Gary Neville criticises Joel Glazer’s Fans’ Forum promises

Gary Neville criticises Joel Glazer’s Fans’ Forum promises

by Scott Eckersley

Former Manchester United star Gary Neville has poured scorn on Joel Glazer’s latest assurances about the future of the football club at yesterday’s Fans’ Forum.

The unpopular owners were forced to break their ongoing silence about their debt-ridden running of the club after damning criticism of their leading role in the failed and much-maligned European Super League proposals.

Neville was particularly scathing with his rhetoric concerning the proposals, reserving withering condemnation for United’s owners.

Using his influential media platform, he helped to inspire the fan-led revolt that ultimately saw the plans being ditched within two hectic days.

Such was the force and scale of widespread public condemnation that United’s reclusive owners were pressured into making an embarrassing public U-turn.

The criticism forced Glazer into taking the unprecedented step of making a grovelling public apology, while also promising to fast-track a new – and overdue – era of supporter-centric decision making at the heart of the club.

However, the promises didn’t go nearly far enough according to United legend Neville, who took to Twitter to voice his typically strong opinions.

Neville tweeted:

‘My Fans Forum Comments
– should have committed to paying debt down over next 5 years
– no dividends for 5 years
– minimum yearly investment into team for 5 years
– missed an opportunity to show a new OT and Training ground vision
– more detail on fan share scheme required’

It’s hard to argue against Neville’s criticisms. Sixteen years after they hijacked the club with a leveraged buy-out, the current debt still stands at over £500m.

The title-winning juggernaut has been derailed, with the club’s most recent Premier League title coming in 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson‘s final season.

A ground that was once considered one of the jewels in England’s sporting crown has been allowed to fall into disrepair, with Old Trafford now badly in need of major investment.

Despite the litany of failings, regarding both infrastructure and on-pitch success, the Glazers have continued to personally profit from their mismanagement, taking annual dividends.

Although their belated arrival at the negotiating table is better than nothing, United fans will be justified in wanting the latest promises to be backed up with tangible change. The chance to grab a meaningful stake in the future of the club is one that needs to be forcefully pursued if their hopes of returning the club to former glories is to be realised.

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