Manchester United’s Supporters Trust have reacted to the news that Richard Arnold will become the new chief executive of Manchester United Football Club, replacing the outgoing Ed Woodward.
MUST, who have regular communication with the club including Arnold, have released the following open letter in response to Arnold’s appointment.
“You arrive into your role at a time when the club faces big challenges, and you have a great deal in your in-tray,” it says. “We see three big challenges facing you.
Tackle the decline on the playing side
The last few months have been an enormous disappointment for Manchester United fans. A clear strategy to restore our fortunes is needed. In the immediate term, that means having a plan in place to appoint the new manager that includes proven football people in the decision-making process. In addition, we need a more consistent approach to transfer policy rather that the stop-start investment of the last eight years which has seen £1.4 billon of spend largely wasted.
Rebuild trust with fans
The European Super League debacle was the culmination of the collapse in trust between Manchester United fans and the club. Since then, the club has taken welcome steps to rebuild trust but a lot more needs to be done. The Fans Advisory Board needs to become a meaningful body with real influence. And the Fans Share Scheme needs to be progressed as soon as possible, with supporter shares holding the same voting rights as Glazer ones.
Put in place a clear and well-funded plan to improve Old Trafford
Old Trafford has been in decay for the whole of the last 16 years. As other clubs have invested in their stadiums, we have allowed ours to become one where the roof leaks on a habitual basis. Recent comments suggesting the club is preparing a major investment in Old Trafford are encouraging, but we want you to follow-through with a clear plan to turn Old Trafford back into the best stadium in the country, as it used to be. And we want to understand that this will be a real investment, and that finances will not be a barrier to what we need to do.
All of the above must be done alongside putting in place a sustainable plan for the club’s finances. The scale of our debt remains an issue which unnecessarily holds back the club, and all fans want that dealt with by the owners, who created that debt in the first place.
The club is crying out for clear leadership, and we very much hope you can provide it. If you are able to deliver on the above three point plan, all Manchester United fans will welcome your appointment.”