Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold met disgruntled fans in a pub to address concerns about the future of the club.
Supporters had been planning a protest outside Arnold’s home amid ongoing unrest about the ownership of the Glazer family.
The club’s chief executive, who replaced Ed Woodward earlier this year, bought drinks for the group and discussed a range of topics, including the owners, financial issues, and United’s pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong.
Arnold reportedly said money was “not a consideration” in the club’s summer recruitment drive when asked about transfer plans under new boss Erik Ten Hag.
A spokesperson for Manchester United said: “Richard heard that a group of fans had gathered in a pub near his house. He went to meet them, bought them all a drink, listened to their views, and explained what the club is doing to deliver success on the pitch, improve the stadium, and strengthen engagement with fans.”
United have just endured their worst Premier League campaign from a points perspective, finishing sixth with a tally of 58 following only 16 wins from their 38 games.
The underwhelming season was played out against a backdrop of ongoing protests against the Glazers.
A new era is set to begin at Old Trafford following the appointment of Dutchman Ten Hag. The former Ajax boss has replaced interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who took over from the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
German Rangnick was initially due to remain with the 20-time English champions in a consultancy role before that plan was scrapped last month.
Videos of Arnold – who did not appear to know he was being filmed during his discussion with fans – have been posted on social media.
Speaking of financial issues at the club, he said: “We spent a billion pounds on players, we spent more than anyone in Europe. I’m not thrilled where we are. What’s happened is we’ve burnt through cash. I don’t think we’ve done well with the money we’ve spent historically.
“For this summer, the money that the manager and the director of football want is there.
“For the future, for investing in a new stadium and that sort of stuff, to do a latest and greatest £250million training ground, we’ve got to do something, we’ve got to get investors in.
“I need that to do what I want for the club. I’ve got to have more cash than we have now because no club in the world has the money to do a new stadium without getting it from somewhere, no one generates that – you either borrow it or someone invests it.”