Manchester United Prospers on Social Media Despite Unsatisfied Fans

by S. Ateljevic  ·  May 17, 2021

According to a report published by Horizm, a company that provides an AI-powered digital assets platform, out of all the sports teams in the world, Manchester United’s social media platforms are the most valuable.

The results of the study are somewhat surprising as the Old Trafford-based football club has fewer followers than Real Madrid and Barcelona. Currently, the Red Devils’ digital output is estimated to be worth more than £90 million.

It seems that the team wishes to take advantage of the positive momentum and further expand its commercial reach, seeing as it will be hiring a lifestyle expert this summer. This decision, however, was met with disapproval from the fans, as they feel that the money would be better spent on new players.

The owners of Manchester United have been criticised for their improper management of the club’s funds for years now. Namely, in 2005, the Glazer family saddled the club with a debt of £540 million. It is estimated that the club had accumulated an additional £1 billion in debt interest, penalties, and other fees by 2019.

What turned out to be the last straw for the United’s devoted fan base was the announcement concerning the club’s participation in the European Super League. On May 2, hundreds of United’s supporters gathered outside the club’s stadium, on the pitch, and around the Lowry Hotel in Salford, preventing the team’s bus from leaving the premises. Consequently, the match between Manchester United and Liverpool was called off.

Other clubs, as well as players, managers, governments, and politicians, also oppose the formation of the breakaway tournament. However, Paddy Power and Betfair, operators of well-known betting sites, have already released special betting markets for the new competition.

On April 30, Manchester United Supporters’ Trust sent a letter to Joel Glazer in which it recommended a plan that would increase the fans’ involvement with the team. One of the suggestions was a fan share scheme that would enable supporters to vote on the club’s major decisions. Glazer responded on May 7:

We recognise that the Government-initiated, fan-led review of football is a positive opportunity to explore new structures for fan engagement and influence. I can assure you that we will willingly and openly engage in the review, with the aim of putting fans at the heart of the game and ensuring their interests are advanced and protected,” wrote Glazer.