It feels like a lifetime ago now, but just over two months ago Manchester United vs Liverpool was postponed due to mass protests at Old Trafford.
Discontent amongst supporters towards the Glazer family’s ownership of the club reached boiling point in the aftermath of the failed attempt to form the European Super League and in their thousands they made their feelings known.
For many supporters, no amount of success or big money signings will ever be enough to give their support to the Glazers but the club may be able to get some back on side this season if they handle the forthcoming campaign right, on and off the pitch.
Here’s five things the owners can do to keep United supporters happy.
1 – Continue to communicate with supporters
Following the Super League fiasco, the Glazers promised to listen to supporters more and take their opinions into consideration.
Things have gotten off to a promising start with co-chairman Joel Glazer speaking directly to supporters for the first time in the 16 years his family have owned the club as he joined a fans’ forum in early June.
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In the meeting, Glazer committed to a new fan advisory board and promised the opportunity for fans to become supporter shareholders, a process that has now begun.
These are already steps in the right direction but they must continue if the owners ever want to regain the trust of even just a small portion of the fan base. Regardless of what happens on the pitch, fans want to feel a sense of ownership of their club again – that’s the most important thing.
2 – Keep backing Solskjaer in the market
Of course, United’s form on the pitch is also crucial for supporters and United’s squad needs some improvements this summer.
The imminent signing of Jadon Sancho for £72.9million is a big statement of intent, but it can’t end there with United’s weaker areas still needing reinforcements.
The centre-back position has been a continued issue but if a world-class addition in Raphael Varane can be secured then, alongside Harry Maguire, United will have one of the most formidable backlines in the league.
Extra signings in centre-midfield – either Declan Rice or Eduardo Camavinga – and right-back, such as Kieran Trippier, should leave fans impressed by the club’s dealings in the market.
3 – Win a trophy
United came tantalisingly close to lifting their first trophy in four years last season and only a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out denied them.
It was a bitter pill to swallow but it’s clear to see that United are heading in the right direction and a piece of silverware isn’t far away.
However, the longer the wait goes on the bigger the monkey on the back grows. Arsenal know this all too well.
If United can finally get their hands on a trophy again then it could galvanise the fanbase and prove once and for all that the club are improving under Solskjaer.
4 – Secure Paul Pogba’s future
In what might be the hardest task of all, signing Paul Pogba to a new deal would be a great move from the club.
The Frenchman’s future has permanently been in doubt in recent years with constant links to Real Madrid and Juventus but, now with just 12 months remaining on his contract, the ball is finally in his court.
Pogba could either force a move this summer or simply wait a year to move on a free, opening his options even further. It’s now United’s job to try and convince him to stay instead.
2021 has seen the playmaker enjoy his best run of form since he returned to Old Trafford and for United to lose him now would come as a blow.
5 – Take the title race to the wire
It’s been a long time since United were in a real title race.
They threatened at moments halfway through last season but costly slip-ups allowed Manchester City to pull out of sight long before the campaign was concluded.
Cups are nice, of course, but there’s nothing like winning a Premier League title – especially for a club like United – and the wait is becoming gut-wrenching.
Depending on how the other teams recruit, this season may still come too soon for United, especially with the form Manchester City and Chelsea are in and with Liverpool bound to bounce back, but a strong showing in which Solskjaer’s side can take it to the wire could be another way fans can begin to feel enamoured with the club again.