Joel Glazer admitted “we got it wrong” after the Manchester United co-chairman saw attempts to launch the European Super League blow up in swift and spectacular fashion.
The Old Trafford giants were among six Premier League clubs that made up the 12-strong founding clubs of the breakaway European league announced late on Sunday evening.
Glazer was announced as vice-chairman of the Super League, saying it would “open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities, and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid”.
Yet United, like the other English clubs involved, have been forced into an hasty and embarrassing retreat.
The club withdrew from the Super League on Tuesday shortly after announcing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will be leaving, with previously silent co-chairman Glazer now making a third public statement in less than 72 hours.
“Over the past few days, we have all witnessed the great passion which football generates, and the deep loyalty our fans have for this great club,” Glazer said in an open letter to supporters.
“You made very clear your opposition to the European Super League, and we have listened. We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right.
“Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.
“We continue to believe that European football needs to become more sustainable throughout the pyramid for the long-term.
We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things rightJoel Glazer
“However, we fully accept that the Super League was not the right way to go about it.
“In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions –promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.
“This is the world’s greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days.
“It is important for us to put that right.”
The Glazer family completed their controversial takeover at United in 2005 and have had to withstand a number of protests against them during their ownership.
“Manchester United has a rich heritage and we recognise our responsibility to live up to its great traditions and values,” Glazer continued.
“The pandemic has thrown up so many unique challenges and we are proud of the way Manchester United and its fans from Manchester and around the world have reacted to the enormous pressures during this period.
“We also realise that we need to better communicate with you, our fans, because you will always be at the heart of the club.
“In the background, you can be sure that we will be taking the necessary steps to rebuild relationships with other stakeholders across the game, with a view to working together on solutions to the long-term challenges facing the football pyramid.
“Right now, our priority is to continue to support all of our teams as they push for the strongest possible finish to the season.
“In closing, I would like to recognise that it is your support which makes this club so great, and we thank you for that.”