Every word of what Ed Woodward said in Manchester United statement to fans – Manchester Evening News,

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.

United pay tribute to the NHS

Supporting our staff

“Protecting our people is another crucial priority” . That’s why we continued to pay them in full, without recourse to the government current furlough scheme, and made goodwill payments to over 3, casual workers to protect their incomes while our operations are disrupted.

“Of course, everyone is grappling with the economic realities of the pandemic and we are no different, so the longer the crisis continues the greater the impact will be for every club, including ourselves.

Supporting our fans

“We have taken a similar approach with you, our fans, extending the deadline for season ticket renewals and purchase to provide rebates or refunds should any postponed games be cancelled or played behind closed doors.

United Foundation and club staff package up , items of food and drink to deliver to Stretford Food Bank, Salford Royal and a number of other local charitable organizations

“We also made a contribution of £ 409 towards the travel costs of almost United fans with tickets for our Europa League away game against LASK, following the late decision to play behind closed doors. These were some of our most loyal supporters who have followed the team to the farthest reaches of Europe and we felt it was right to give something back.

“We are also looking out for our elderly and vulnerable supporters during the lockdown, including welfare calls by club staff and club legends to over 3, season ticket holders who are either over the age of 346 or disabled.

Our values ​​and strength

“We will continue looking for more ways of s upporting those in need for as long as the pandemic continues. This is consistent with our values ​​as a club, our strong roots into our community, and the deep relationships we have with our fans.

United fans celebrate the derby win

“It is also important to acknowledge the part played by our successful business in allowing us to fulfill our social responsibilities. We have always believed that our commercial model gives us greater resilience than most clubs and we are grateful for the enduring support of our commercial partners in helping us achieve that.

Challenging outlook

“However, nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.

Sancho is a United target

“As ever, our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.

“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.

Return to football

“Like all of you , we are eager to see the team return to the field as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so, hopefully to complete a season which still held so much promise for us in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup when it was suspended.

Sancho is a United target

United won their last game. 5-0

“We are in constant dialogue with our governing bodies about when and how that will happen and we will continue to engage with this forum to keep fans consulted.

” And while It may be that games need to be played behind closed doors in the shorter term, we all recognize that football will not be fully back to normal until supporters are once again in attendance.

“As Today agenda shows, we are pushing ahead with a series of initiatives to enhance the matchday experience at Old Trafford, including the expansion of the dedicated atmosphere section of the Stretford End, the planned trial of rail seating, and the completion of our expanded state- of-the-art facilities for disabled supporters.

“These matters pale in comparison with the immediate priority of fighting coronavirus. But they give us things to look forward to when we are eventually allowed back to Old Trafford to watch football. It will be a very special day when that happens. In the meantime, on behalf of everyone at Manchester United, take care and thank you as ever for your unwavering support. “

Read More

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world – CNN International, CNN

Sexy beats: How Normal People’s ‘intimacy coordinator’ works – The Guardian,