The Glazers have decided on taking the majority of an £11 million pound dividend payment to shareholders last Friday. This comes on the back of the club’s worst season in the Premier League era and in the aftermath of some of the largest United fan protests since the initial take over of the Glazer family in 2005. The decision also comes on the back of Richard Arnold meeting with United fans. Arnold told them United had has spent lots of money on the club in recent years. He also said it hasn’t been spent in the right places. The payment is quite contradictory to everything Arnold said. But, at the same time this is was a decision entirely out of Arnold’s control.
The Glazers have shown they have absolutely no understanding of how to “read a room”. They’ve decided to take this payment at the worst possible time and knew exactly how fans would feel about it. That all comes just a year after the Glazers promised to give the United fans a bigger voice and declared their commitment to the club.
United finished last season in 6th place, missed out on champions league football for next season, and have gone trophyless yet again. All while having some of the largest player wages in the league. The club fired one of its club legends, whose time may have come to a natural end, but honestly I believe the season would’ve ended up just the same regardless. The decision to fire Ole only gave the club bad press and they followed it up by hiring a “substitute teacher” manager in Ralf Rangnick.
To end the season the club decided to instigate the decision to have Ralf Rangnick leave the club completely at season’s end and declared their full commitment to Eric ten Hag, pledging to back him fully. No signings have been made as of June 27th.
The reaction from fans has been exactly what anyone would expect. The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) put out a full statement in response to the payment, which can be read here: MUST Response.
MUST said in their response, “Reward for failure is poor practice in any business, and totally unacceptable given the current state of things at United.” The fans understand the situation United finds itself in as a football club, but this appears to be something the Glazers have absolutely zero grasp on.
In recent weeks Gary Neville said, “The Glazer Family should not be taking £11m in dividends this Friday” and went on to point out how much investment is required in Old Trafford, the training ground, and the replacement of first team players.
MUST has also declared how it aims to make their feelings on the payment very clear to the club and its board in future meetings. As of right now there are no declared protests but it is only a matter of time.
With Eric ten Hag now officially with the club and at the helm of footballing operations as it seems, the club must back him financially. The fans should also give their full support the new manager despite feelings for the board and the club’s owners. Eric ten Hag is an excellent coach with an elite mentality and is capable of putting together an excellent team even without a signing. Although United are sure to make a few a signings before the windows end, it is of vital importance that all signings are completed prior to pre season.
There is still time, so let’s hope as a fanbase that Eric ten Hag can get in at least 3 quality signings before pre season training. Eric ten Hag is a coach capable of making players better, bringing up young players, and knows how to piece together a squad to suit his style of play. There is no doubt United will be better this season than last, but better isn’t good enough for this club. The Glazers need to continue to be pressured by United fans and have to understand how wrong their decision to take a dividend payment this summer was.