The former Red Devils defender thinks much more can be done to improve the American family’s ownership of the club
Gary Neville believes Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer did not go far enough when he made a series of promises to supporters during a Fans’ Forum on Friday.
The Glazer family have pledged to invest in the club both on and off the pitch and revealed plans to explore setting up a fan share scheme which would give United fans equal voting rights on the board.
However, former Red Devils defender Neville was not impressed by the Glazers’ comments and detailed his criticisms of their plans.
What did Neville say?
Responding to the Glazers’ proposals on Twitter, Neville laid out five key points. The former England international said the owners “should have committed to paying debt down over next five years” and that there should be “no dividends for five years”.
He also said they should have announced plans for a “minimum yearly investment into the team for five years” and claims they “missed an opportunity” to show a new vision for Old Trafford and the club’s training ground.
Some United supporters have accused the Glazer family of piling debt onto the club while failing to adequately invest in the playing staff and infrastructure, with Old Trafford starting to show its age compared to more modern stadiums across the country.
Neville also said “more detail” on the proposed fan share scheme was required.
Neville demands punishment for ESL rebels
Neville also expressed his frustration at what he called the “stuck in the mud governance” in football as the Premier League continues to stall over a proposed punishment for the six member clubs who joined the breakaway Super League, including Manchester United.
Responding to a fan question on Twitter asking whether the actions of the breakaway six had now been “forgotten”, Neville, who has publicly called for an independent regulator of English football, replied: “No, the Premier league need to get this sorted ASAP.
“[They are] dragging it out and [it] is demonstrative of the ‘stuck in the mud’ governance that exists in football.”
The bigger picture
The Glazer family will have hoped their plans announced at the Fans’ Forum would go some way towards placating the anger of the supporters, many of whom have been vehemently opposed to their ownership for several years and viewed the ESL proposals as the final straw.
However, Neville, who was one of a clutch of ex-players who spoke out against the breakaway plans, has been quick to question just how much substance there is behind their proposals.
But given this is the first time in the 16 years the American family have owned the club that any of them have met directly with fans, it does suggest there is a willingness to belatedly allay some of their concerns.
Only time will tell whether they will follow through on their promises.