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“Dear fans…” United’s unapologetic letter

Marouane_Fellaini_2659848bIn football, it’s not unheard of fans writing to their club. Whether to request a ticket, to have their name flashed across the big screen on their birthday or simply to vent their anger and frustration, in the past many fans have wrote letters and sent emails addressed to the club they support.

Obviously clubs do their fair bit of correspondence too, but their letters and emails are normally aimed at advertising the latest merchandise product or to inform fans about ticket availability. United, however, have taken the rather pioneering step of writing to the fans to defend their business in the transfer window.

United came under intense criticism for the lack of strategy and sheer ineptitude they showcased between June and September 2, when different players were linked to the club on a daily basis, but David Moyes’ only signing arrived on deadline day and costed £4m more than he would have done a month earlier.

Marouane Fellaini is obviously a fine player and his performance last night suggests he could become an extremely important figure in United’s XI, however his arrival did very little to placate those fans who, rather understandably, wondered whether the club was actually pursuing players, rather than simply focusing on clinching new sponsorship deals.

The letter, signed on behalf of director of communications Phil Townsend, contains a staunch defence of  Ed Woodward, United’s chief executive, who became a pantomime villain over the summer, where he looked utterly out of his depth.

A  club spokesman said: “”The reply went to those who wrote to Ed Woodward and people who sent emails to the enquiries inbox. We have a responsibility under our Club Charter to respond to all correspondence in 15 working days.”

The letter states:

“The club had two main priorities for the transfer window. The first was to keep Wayne Rooney. He is a world-class player and the manager is very keen to have Wayne as a key part of the club’s drive to retain the Premier League trophy. That aim was fulfilled.

“The second priority was to add a midfield player, and the capture of Fellaini has met that need.

“Add to that the fact that Wilfried Zaha is a new signing and that the manager has added the highly-rated young player Adnan Janazaj to the squad and the team does in fact have a different feel to it than the one that finished last season.

“The club has invested over £40m acquiring new players this summer, as well as re-signing Nani on a long term deal – more than it has traditionally spent on transfers.

“Additional resources were there to add to that but it was not possible to agree with other clubs for the right players to leave. The key point there is that the players we buy have to be the right ones for Manchester United; not just any player.

“The club has always backed the manager in the transfer market, as Sir Alex has said on many occasions and it will continue to do so. The club has demonstrated its belief in, and commitment to, David Moyes through the award of a six year contract.

“Allowing him to shape the future Manchester United team is a long term project not an eight-week panic. He must be given time to assess his new squad and come to his own decisions on which players he feels will strengthen it.”