Every word of what Ed Woodward said in Manchester United statement to fans – Manchester Evening News, Manchestereveningnews.co.uk
The Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, managing director Richard Arnold, chief operating officer Collette Roche, and director of communications Charlie Brooks dialled into a video conference call for the quarterly fans’ forum on Friday.
Twelve supporters who represent different areas of the United fanbase, as well as a representative of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust were also on the call and it is understood fans expressed a genuine sense of pride in the way the club has responded to the coronavirus crisis.
This is what Woodward said in his opening statement:
“Welcome to the second Fans’ Forum of the year, and the first to be held remotely via conference call. I’d first like to say that I Hope you and your families are all safe and healthy.
“It would have been easy to postpone this meeting until we can convene again at Old Trafford, but we feel it’s perhaps more important than ever to have open lines of communication between the club and our supporters when we’re grappling with such extraordinary challenges.
“A lot has happened since the Forum last met in January, so let me take a few moments to summarise the approach we have taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Protecting public health
“I’d like to reinforce that our thoughts are with everyone affected by the pandemic, and especially those who have lost people close to them. Our top priority has been doing what is necessary to help slow the spread of the virus, and that will remain our guiding principle. This has obviously included postponing all our games until further notice, and temporarily closing Old Trafford and the AON Training Complex to all visitors and most staff. We have not enjoyed taking these decisions, but public health and the health of our employees must always come first.
“I will now summarise what we’ve been doing to support the NHS, our community, our staff and of course our fans.
Supporting the NHS
“On behalf of everyone at Manchester United, I want to pay tribute to the heroic work being done by the NHS and all key workers in fighting the virus.
“We are proud to support those efforts, with club medical supplies, protective equipment and food donated to local hospitals, and gift packs to NHS workers. We have also put facilities and staff at the service of the NHS: The Manchester United Foundation has made its fleet of vans available for NHS courier services and club staff are volunteering for the NHS, while continuing to receive full pay. After discussion with local NHS trusts, there is more support to come from the club in this area.
Supporting our community
“We recognize that this is an economic crisis as well as a health crisis and that many vulnerable members of our community will be affected. That’s why we have donated over , items of food and drink to local charities, and made a £ 100, 30 joint donation with Manchester City to the Trussell Trust for use by 70 food banks across Greater Manchester.
“I’d like to put on record our appreciation for the role of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust in helping coordinate this latter donation, building on the excellent work that they normally do collecting for food banks on match days.
“The Manchester United Foundation has continued to work throughout the pandemic, helping support the children of key workers at those local partner schools which remain open, and we are working on further su pport to help alleviate food poverty, in Manchester and beyond, through the Foundation.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings