Joel Glazer has told Gary Neville he is taking on board his criticism of the family’s ownership at Manchester United and the way they have run the club.
Neville has become a fierce critic of the Glazer family since they aligned themselves with the doomed European Super League proposals, saying there is “general distrust and dislike” of the family from United fans.
The former United defender used his role as a Sky Sports pundit to attack the ESL and he criticised Joel Glazer for signing the club up to the project, as well as the way the Glazers have run the club in their 16 years as owners.
Glazer was asked about that criticism during the fans’ forum he attended earlier this month, when he spoke to a group of United supporters about a range of topics and outlined plans to give fans a greater say in how the club is run.
The co-chairman stressed he was listening to criticism from someone with Neville’s background and had no problem with the views he had put forward.
“I know Gary has been, to say the least, pretty hard on us, and it’s okay. Everybody has their views,” said Glazer.
“There’s two ways to look at it; you can just shut the person out because they’re not saying something nice about you and ignore it. Or you can pause, you can listen.
“People always have good points, good ideas and you have to take them to heart. You can’t ignore people. We can’t ignore things, we have got to listen. You can’t necessarily accomplish everything, it’s not always that simple.
“Sometimes things are a little more complex, but Gary’s a legend. Gary did so much for this club. Gary has good ideas, good thoughts. And they’re heard.”
Glazer was also pressed on his true relationship with United during the forum, with the family rarely attending games, although that has been difficult during the pandemic, and whether he understood the passion that supporters have.
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“The issue of ‘do I recognise how important Manchester United is in people’s lives, a multi-generational love for the club and following the club?’,” he said.
“Without a doubt, there is one thing I can tell you wholeheartedly, I have a great appreciation for everyone’s love of the club, what it means to people, how it impacts their lives on a daily basis, week in and week out.
“Nobody wants to wake up that next morning after a defeat in a big match. I recognise the role it plays day in and day out, how it brings families together, brings people together, brings all different people together, rooting for the same goal. And that’s, frankly, why I love the sport.
“I love Manchester United, because of the passion, the excitement, the togetherness, the emotion, everything that it brings out. There nothing else that does it. There’s nothing else like walking into a stadium filled with 76,000 people singing, chanting, cheering. Its what, for me personally, ultimately attracted me or drew me into the love of the game.”