Manchester United

Man Utd announce launch of fans' advisory board

Mudeet Arora
Manchester United have announced the launch of a fans' advisory board
Manchester United have announced the launch of a fans' advisory board / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Manchester United have announced the membership of its new Fans' Advisory Board (FAB), which has been launched in order to strengthen the relationship between fans and the club by increase fan participation in the club's decision making.

As many as seven fans from diverse backgrounds have been appointed to the FAB on voluntary basis and their role will be to provide suggestions to the club owners and create communication between them and the fans.

As reported by Manchester United's official website, the FAB will be co-chaired by Christopher Saad, an experienced barrister and life-long Manchester United fan, and Richard Arnold, the club’s Group Managing Director.

The press released from United stated, "Saad hails from Greater Manchester and grew up in a family of Red Devils and has attended games at Old Trafford for over 25 years.

"As a leading barrister with a specialism in sports law, he has represented clients in football-related cases and holds membership of disciplinary panels for several national sports governing bodies." 

"Saad was the unanimous choice as Co-Chair following an extensive search process. The selection panel included club leaders, representatives of the Fans’ Forum, the club’s existing fan representative body, and the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (MUST).

The FAB is designed to create a channel for in-depth board-level consultation, with a focus on long-term strategic issues, including stadium development. It will operate in parallel with the Fans’ Forum, which will continue to focus on operational issues affecting fans."

Joel Glazer, the club’s Co-Chairman, will attend the inaugural meeting with this new setup in January.

Collette Roche, Manchester United Chief Operating Officer, said: “The launch of the Fans’ Advisory Board is an historic step to ensure that the supporters’ perspective is always heard and understood right up to the highest levels of the club. This will improve decision-making and reduce the risk of conflict with fans on the most important issues.

“We agree with the independent Fan-Led Review of Football Governance that fans must have a strong voice in the running of the game, and we believe that our Fans’ Advisory Board and proposed Fans’ Share Scheme are consistent with that important goal.

“We are delighted to have attracted such a high calibre of individuals to the Board, all with a strong passion for United combined with the skills to advocate on behalf of fans. I am looking forward to working with Chris and the other representatives to get the Board up and running and establish a key role for it at the heart of the club.”

Christopher Saad said: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to combine my professional skills with my lifelong passion for Manchester United as the first fan Co-Chair of the Fans’ Advisory Board.

“I firmly believe that we will establish a positive new model for fan engagement in football. Sometimes there will be agreement, sometimes we will challenge hard. We will not shy away from frank discussion.

“Our aim is to widen the areas of consensus and narrow differences, and to help maintain a healthy and successful football club which is in tune with its supporters.

“I look forward to working with my fellow fan representatives and club leaders in achieving those aims.”