Man United CEO Richard Arnold meets fans in pub to stop Glazer protest
A group of supporters had been due to protest outside Arnold's home
Manchester United Chief Executive Officer Richard Arnold met with a group of supporters in a pub on Saturday in a bid to prevent a protest against the Glazer family's ownership of the club from taking place outside his home.
A small group of United fans had arranged to hold a 'peaceful and legal' protest at the gates of Arnold's Cheshire property on Saturday afternoon, with organisers preparing a number of banners demanding the Glazers and Arnold leave the club. They had arranged to meet in a pub close to Arnold's home before the protest started.
Having received a tip-off, Arnold unexpectedly appeared at the pub to meet the group in person, holding a lengthy and frank discussion about a number of club-related issues, including dressing room leaks and United's transfer funds for the summer.
"He's saying that none of the last 17 years is his fault."
"By the time most of the lads had got there they were ripping into him, saying the Glazers have done f*** all for the last 17 years," one of the group - who spoke directly to Arnold - told JOE.
"We're not making him [Arnold] out to be a hero, but we respect the fact he came out to see us and speak about things.
Richard Arnold. Talking about the Glazers. pic.twitter.com/RnHXCQuXfk
— Paul, Manc Bald and Bred (@MufcWonItAll) June 18, 2022
"He's basically asking for a clean slate because he's just started his role. He's saying that none of the last 17 years is his fault."
Arnold was named as United's CEO in January having previously held the position of Group Managing Director. He replaced Ed Woodward, who stepped down from his position as the club's Executive Vice-Chairman on February 1.
"If you love United, you're not helping United"
Those who planned Saturday's protest did so in support of The 1958, a recently formed group which has organised a series of protests against the Glazer family's ownership and encouraged supporters to target United's main sponsors and stakeholders in an attempt to force them to sell.
The source continued: "The thing he kept saying was that attacking sponsors and investors is damaging the club. So what The '58 are doing is working.
"He's saying 'If you love United, you're not helping United.' I asked him what would he have us do instead and he shrugged.
"We are trying to damage the club so sponsorship stops and they are forced to sell."
Arnold is said to have been understanding, listening to the fans' concerns. He also accepted that protests against United's owners would continue to take place inside Old Trafford.
"He told us protests can carry on but that we can't have flares inside the Munich Tunnel or the ground," the group member added.
"He said carry on protesting and that he'd pushed for those protests not to be stopped, even though others have asked for them to be banned."
Arnold on dressing room leaks and summer transfer plans
United recorded their worst season of the Premier League era last term, with supporters unhappy at the amount of information being leaked to the media from inside the dressing room. On that, Arnold is said to have told the group that "the two sources of the leaks have now left the club."
United are yet to add any major signings to their squad this summer since the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager was confirmed in April. Some have expressed their concerns about the lack of arrivals, though Arnold said that Football Director John Murtough was working hard to conclude a deal with Barcelona for Frenkie de Jong.
"He said Murtough is working from 6 in the morning til 10 at night trying to get the De Jong deal done. There's £200m for transfers. He wouldn't let any other targets slip.
"He was honest with us and that helped defuse the situation. There were around 20 of us in there and telling him exactly what we thought but by the end of it, we'd piped down."
After the meeting, the planned protest outside Arnold's house did not go ahead.
United supporters have vowed to continue Glazer protests into next season
Fan protests against the Glazers' ownership of United have been a regular occurrence since the Americans took charge at Old Trafford in 2005.
The family's involvement in the doomed European Super League plot sparked a fresh wave of protest last year, culminating in United supporters forcing entry to Old Trafford ahead of a league game against Liverpool. The game was subsequently postponed.
Arnold's meeting with supporters comes at the end of a week in which United's share price has plummeted to a record low. Dividends will once again be paid to shareholders - including the Glazer family - later this month.
Manchester United have been approached for comment on Arnold's meeting with supporters.
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