EPL

European Super League: Man Utd part-owner Joel Glazer issues apology in open letter

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

Manchester United co-chairman and part-owner Joel Glazer has issued an apology to fans for the "unrest" caused by their European Super League misadventure.

United were one of 12 founding clubs for the close-shop competition announced on Sunday, but more than that they had frequently been cited as among the biggest pushers for a new tournament to rival UEFA's Champions League.

Super League involvement would have seen United – along with the other founder clubs – guaranteed participation every year, thus threatening the ideals of competitiveness and sporting merit.

Much of the significant backlash, which United players Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw were a part of, related to this lack of competition, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola suggesting it could not be considered sport.

But less than 48 hours after the plans were announced, the proposed tournament began to crumble as the English clubs withdrew – United confirmed their disassociation at the same time as Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, with City doing so earlier in the day and Chelsea following.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward also confirmed his resignation, which the club claimed was unrelated to the defeat of the Super League plans.

Criticism was directed at United for their brief statement upon withdrawal as well, though Glazer – co-owner with his brother Avram – says he is "committed to rebuilding trust" in a lengthier open letter.

United supporters will surely argue there was never trust in the deeply unpopular Glazers in the first place, with the letter representing the family's first communication with the fanbase since 2005.

It read: "To all Manchester United supporters, over the past few days we have all witnessed the great passion which football generates, and the deep loyalty our fans have for this great club.

"You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.

"Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.

"We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable throughout the pyramid for the long-term. However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go about it.

"In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions –promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.

"This is the world's greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days. It is important for us to put that right.

"Manchester United has a rich heritage and we recognise our responsibility to live up to its great traditions and values. The pandemic has thrown up so many unique challenges and we are proud of the way Manchester United and its fans from Manchester and around the world have reacted to the enormous pressures during this period.

"We also realise that we need to better communicate with you, our fans, because you will always be at the heart of the club. In the background, you can be sure that we will be taking the necessary steps to rebuild relationships with other stakeholders across the game, with a view to working together on solutions to the long-term challenges facing the football pyramid.

"Right now, our priority is to continue to support all of our teams as they push for the strongest possible finish to the season. In closing, I would like to recognise that it is your support which makes this club so great, and we thank you for that. With best regards, Joel Glazer."

Related items

  • Amad Diallo scores with first shot on loan at Rangers Amad Diallo scores with first shot on loan at Rangers

    Amad Diallo required only five minutes to open his Rangers account, scoring with his very first shot in the Scottish Premiership.

    Diallo has joined Rangers on loan from Manchester United after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford due to a combination of injuries and signings in his position.

    The winger's bid to rediscover peak form and fitness got off to an encouraging start on Saturday, though, as he struck against Ross County.

    Diallo was left with a simple task to turn in the first shot of the match after fine work from Joe Aribo forged an opportunity worth 0.63 expected goals.

    The 19-year-old, who joined United from Atalanta last January, has one goal and one assist in his nine games so far for the Red Devils.

    However, that sole goal, against Milan, came from Diallo's first attempt as a United player – a feat he has now repeated in Scotland.

  • Fiorentina sign up Cabral as Vlahovic replacement Fiorentina sign up Cabral as Vlahovic replacement

    Fiorentina have swiftly secured their replacement for Dusan Vlahovic after signing Brazilian Arthur Cabral from Swiss side Basel.

    Vlahovic moved on to Juventus on Friday for an initial €70million, bringing an end to a saga that saw the 22-year-old targeted by a host of Europe's richest clubs.

    Losing his services means Fiorentina were left with a gaping hole in their forward line, given Vlahovic is the joint-top scorer in Serie A this season with 17 goals from 21 appearances – a tally only matched by Lazio's Ciro Immobile.

    Now they have a player they consider capable of making a major impact himself, with Cabral, who inherits the number nine shirt from Vlahovic, having shown prolific scoring form in the Swiss Super League and the Europa Conference League.

    Announcing the deal, Fiorentina said: "ACF Fiorentina is delighted to announce the signing of Arthur Mendonca Cabral from FC Basel 1893 on a permanent transfer."

    Neither side has disclosed the fee involved, although reports in Switzerland have put it around the €16.5million mark.

    Cabral scored 65 goals in 106 matches for Basel, also assisting 17 times, and this season he has managed 27 goals and eight assists in just 31 games.

    He came to Basel in August 2019, initially on loan from Brazilian giants Palmeiras, before the move was made permanent at the end of his first season.

    In 2021, he was named the Swiss Super League's player of the year after helping Basel finish second in the table to runaway champions Young Boys.

    Cabral joins a Fiorentina side who sit seventh in Serie A, just outside the European places, with Vincenzo Italiano's men next in action on February 5 when they face eighth-placed Lazio.

  • Burnley move for Orsic off after apparent U-turn Burnley move for Orsic off after apparent U-turn

    Burnley's pursuit of Croatia international Mislav Orsic has ended, according to Dinamo Zagreb, his current club.

    Reports revealed Burnley chairman Alan Pace's trip to Zagreb to finalise a £7million deal this week had been in vain as Orsic turned down a move to the Premier League.

    Burnley had been hoping to add the winger to their ranks after recently selling striker Chris Wood to relegation rivals Newcastle United for a fee in the region of £25m.

    However, Dinamo released a statement on Saturday confirming Orsic would be staying at the Stadion Maksimir, saying: "In recent days, great interest of the public and fans has followed the possible transfer of player Mislav Orsic to the English club Burnley.

    "Following this topic, GNK Dinamo informs the public that the decision has been made that Mislav Orsic will remain a Dinamo player and we are looking forward to participating in the continuation of the season together with his teammates and contributing to achieving the goal of winning a new Croatian title."

    Orsic has scored nine goals in 31 appearances in all competitions for Dinamo this season, including a stunning effort against West Ham in the Europa League at the London Stadium.

    He had already made his mark on English football last season with a hat-trick as Dinamo dramatically knocked Jose Mourinho's Tottenham out of the Europa League.

    Dinamo sit top of Croatia's 1. HNL – level on points with second and third place – while Burnley are bottom of the Premier League, albeit with games in hand over their immediate rivals after having several games postponed due to COVID-19.

    Burnley are reportedly in talks to sign striker Wout Weghorst from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg before Monday's transfer deadline.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.