Over the weekend we had something ... well, new. That's the only way I can describe it. What's not new was Man U fans were planning a protest outside the house of CEO Richard Arnold. This is the norm so much so that Richard Arnold got a call with a warning that this was about to happen. Instead of waiting, he took action into his own hands and decided to go to the pub to meet them. (h/t The Athletic):
On Saturday afternoon, Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold received a phone call while at his family home in a leafy Cheshire village.
It was, essentially, a polite warning to say that more than a dozen United supporters had organised to meet up and protest at Arnold’s house. The protest, organised by an activist group of fans called “The 1958”, represented the latest flashpoint in a stream of discontent against the club’s continued ownership by the Glazer family and the perceived mismanagement of United since the Americans completed a highly leveraged takeover in 2005.
Arnold went to the same pub, bought the supporters pints of beer, and discussed their concerns with them. He politely asked that the contents of the conversation be kept private and not be filmed but footage of the meeting soon made its way onto social media. It has created a spate of headlines, most notably about the club’s pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, dressing-room leaks, United’s wastefulness in the transfer market, the Glazers’ ownership and, in Arnold’s own words, the “fucking nightmare” of the past year at the club.
Now since it's 2022 nothing that's recorded is kept private. It's basically impossible no matter what is said. Here are the videos in question:
Now is it fucked up to release and secretly record a video when he asks you not to? Of course. In the last couple of days Man U fans have been fighting about this because he talks shit about the old regime, opens up about the club and talks about signings. There are some serious talks in here, especially when he talks shit about Ed Woodward and talks about Frankie de Jong. But this isn't some career ruiner video or anything like that. The people he met at the pub are going to talk about it and get it out there.
Plus it's one of the biggest sports teams - not even just soccer clubs - in the world. You say soccer and Man U comes up almost immediately. They have one of the most known people in the world too in Ronaldo. Anything with Man U is going to go viral and go crazy. That's especially true when you start talking about the 1958 and all the protests.
But shout out Richard Arnold. The guy decided to go to the pub instead of just hiding in his house. I don't have a problem with that. He's trying to help fix what's wrong and mend some fences. It's not his fault necessarily that the videos got out and some fans are pissed. That's what fans do too. They get pissed about anything and everything.
I don't even think anything Arnold said was crazy. He was honest and it's all shit that would have been talked about at some point. It just looks worse because it's at a pub with a hidden phone. Just another day in Manchester.