Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that he discussed the future of the club with protesting fans at the training ground.
A group of United supporters gathered outside the Carrington training complex on Thursday, blocking both entrances. The move came in response to the chaos over the European Super League. After 12 clubs, including the Red Devils, made their bombshell announcement on Sunday, the plans fell through within 48 hours.
United co-owner Joel Glazer, who – like all of the Premier League top six’s chiefs did not consult fans or staff on the plans – subsequently sent a open letter of apology.
However, the fans arrived in protest at the American businessmen, demanding their departure.
As such, Solskjaer and fellow United colleagues met the supporters outside.
Solskjaer told his press conference on Friday of the meeting: “I will always listen to the fans and I thought it was the only right thing to do.
“Go and listen to them, speak to them and have a nice discussion with them – a peaceful discussion.
“It’s important that we respect each other and respect each other’s views. I said a few things about what I think the team will do in the future – we don’t really need to discuss that.
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“But it was a good 10 minutes and I was happy with that, of course. We didn’t shake hands, we gave a fist pump and then we parted.”
Solskjaer – like his fellow managers – received no prior word of the ESL plans before they were announced.
The Norwegian – who offered a sketchy response to the developments earlier this week – insisted on Friday that he “didn’t like” the idea of a closed-shop model where the continent’s richest clubs got richer.
Solskjaer fully against European Super League
“First of all, I’m very happy the fans have voiced their opinion and that we’ve listened to them,” he said in his pre-match press conference (via the Manchester Evening News).
“In a strange sort of way, it’s brought the football pyramid and community together and I think that’s important, and I’m very happy.
I’m a supporter myself, and there’ll be a day when I come back and watch Man United and I wanna watch a Man United team with a fear of failure.
“I didn’t like the concept anyway, it has to be on sporting merit. I want to earn the right to play in Europe, we know we’ve been pioneers and we’ve been in Europe for many, many years, with the Busby Babes, we want to be part of a successful European campaign again.
“One of my best nights was something we worked really hard towards. To get to that, that fear of failure, you can’t be given it because your name is such and such, you have to earn the right to be there.”
Solskjaer was speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Leeds United at Elland Road.
Meanwhile, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has also given his pre-match thoughts.