Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer has apologized to fans for the club’s participation in an invasive European Super League project, saying the hierarchy had failed to show respect for the “deep-rooted traditions” of the English game.
United were among six Premier League clubs signed up for the initiative before pulling out on Tuesday amid a storm of protests from fans, players and the British government.
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“You made very clear your opposition to the European Premier League, and we have listened. We stepped up to it, and we want to show that we can put things right,” Glazer said in an open letter to supporters on Wednesday.
“Although the wounds are raw and I understand it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our supporters and learning from the message you have delivered with such conviction .
“We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable through the pyramid in the long term. However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go.
“In trying to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions – promotion, decline, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.”
Breakaway Super League founder and Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli said earlier on Wednesday that the project could no longer go ahead with the withdrawal of English clubs.
Italy’s Inter Milan and Spain’s Atletico Madrid have also left the competition, with AC Milan stating they would too.
Glazer assured fans that the necessary steps will be taken to rebuild stakeholder relationships across the game as they seek solutions to the “long-term challenges facing the football pyramid.”
However, the club’s Supporters Trust (MUST) described the decision to break away as a turning point and said that fans “could not continue as if nothing happened.”
“We all know that until they felt compelled to withdraw, they were determined to go ahead with their Super League project regardless of opposition,” A spokesperson MUST.
“The message we want to hear from the owners is that they are implementing the Fan Sharing Scheme which will begin to transfer ownership to the real supporters of our club – basically the people with its best interests. “
Amid the backlash aimed at the separatist league since its announcement on Sunday, Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward announced that he would be leaving his post at the end of the season.
Liverpool’s top owner John W. Henry issued a similar apology to supporters earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.