Man Utd chief Richard Arnold’s reality check proves Gary Neville criticism was spot on

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Manchester United chief executive Richard Arnold delivered a brutal reality check when answering questions from unhappy fans, proving Gary Neville was spot on with his criticism earlier this season. Footage of the meeting emerged on Saturday evening, with United releasing a statement revealing what had been discussed.

“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,” a spokesperson said.

Arnold’s answers to those questions about the state of the club were brutally honest as he admitted the club had “burned through cash” and branded the previous campaign a “f****** nightmare”. His decision to be so honest will please supporters and also proves Neville’s criticism about the club was spot on.

“Manchester United have now got a new CEO, but he has only had his feet under the table for about three or four weeks. There is an element of obviously giving Richard Arnold time to be able to assess the situation – but it is very fast at Manchester United; there are a lot of things happening all the time,” Neville said in February.

“Sometimes it is a case of slowing down and standing back from it and not getting involved in the weeds and the sort of micro-detail of what is going on. What is the plan? What is the plan for the club? Where are the club going? Where does it need to be in three years? Where does it need to be in five years?

“On the pitch and, importantly as well, off the pitch, how are the club going to represent themselves and do the right things? They are really important things because it is about culture, how you think and how you behave. Straight away, your instinct has to be in the club. That is something, ultimately now, that now needs to change.”

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Arnold would appear to be admitting that Neville was right to blast the lack of a clear plan for the club. But his comments about his frustration about what had happened previously does suggest that United are in safer hands.

The Red Devils chief now needs to turn his words into actions as United bid to come back from what was their worst-ever Premier League season. And he will have to keep Neville’s criticism in mind to ensure he does not fall into the habits of the previous regime.

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