Details from Monday’s series of meetings held between Manchester United fans and new shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe have been revealed.
For the first time since 2005, a major Manchester United shareholder met with fans face-to-face to discuss the state of the club.
Ratcliffe met with the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) a day after watching his first home game – Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur – since the investment was announced on Christmas Eve.
Details of the meetings have been revealed in The Athletic, who spoke with some of the people present at the meetings.
Four meetings – two with fans in person, one on a video call and one in person with local community leaders – were held on Monday, each lasting an hour.
Ineos was represented by Ratcliffe (Chairman), Sir Dave Brailsford (director of sport), Jean-Claude Blanc (chief executive for sport) and Tom Crotty (director and communications head)
Meanwhile, Manchester United were spoken for by MUST, the club’s Fans’ Advisory Board and United’s Fans’ Forum.
United were also represented by interim chief executive Patrick Stewart, Richard McGagh (director of fan engagement), Collette Roche (chief operating officer) and Ellie Norman (chief communications officer).
A person present at the meetings told The Athletic: “He’s (Ratcliffe) not a d***head, he’s pretty direct.
“He was limited to what he could say, but it was all about, ‘We’re here and we’re going to be here’. That is very different to what we’re used to.”
Sources also told The Athletic that INEOS are dedicated to fixing “the football side of things” and plan to do so, having done a year of research into the history of Manchester United.
Another person said: “It was just so different to everything we’ve heard from the Glazers. Football first, commercial/revenue as a consequence of that.
“No being happy with finishing fourth, no avoiding direct questions. It was so refreshing.”
JD Deitch, chair of MUST, believes that Ratcliffe and his team genuinely think they can fix Manchester United and are not concerned about making money while doing it.
Deitch said: “You could feel the winds of change blowing. They will not be absentee owners. This is a generational opportunity to make a difference.”
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