Read Paul Barber's Manchester United programme notes

The chief executive and deputy chairman previews Thursday's Premier League clash at The Amex.

By Paul Barber • 04 May 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber speaking to Sky Sports recently.

Our second home match in the past five days provides us with an early opportunity to avenge our FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of United following a tense penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium last month.

Last Saturday’s match here against Wolverhampton Wanderers was, without doubt, one of our best performances of the season. Our 6-0 victory was our highest at this level and also took us to our record points total in the Premier League. We have also secured more wins and scored more goals than in any of our previous Premier League seasons. Indeed, two goals each from Deniz Undav, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck were just rewards for an entirely dominant team performance from start to finish, and one that was enjoyed by another sell-out attendance in the sunshine.

After a tough week, which had included the midweek trip to Nottingham Forest, Roberto made changes and it was great to see both Deniz and Billy Gilmour, whose opportunities have been limited this season, making such a positive impact. For us, in addition to the wonderful attacking football Roberto and his staff have inspired the team to play, we are particularly pleased to see so many of our younger players being given the opportunity to make big contributions to our season. Moises Caicedo (21), Levi Colwill (20), Evan Ferguson (18), Julio Enciso (19), Facundo Buonanotte (18), Jeremy Sarmiento (20), Jan Paul van Hecke (22), Yasin Ayari (19) and Billy (21) all make World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister look like a veteran at just 24!

By Paul Hazlewood
Facundo Buonanotte scored on his first Premier League start at Nottingham Forest.

It’s to Roberto’s great credit, as well as to the players’ fantastic abilities, that this group are now not only regulars in our first-team group, but are also making regular appearances and contributing goals and assists in important games.

Tonight’s match against a Manchester United side pushing hard for a place back in the UEFA Champions League, to cement a good season that has seen them of course provide our players with another tough challenge.

We can also expect a difficult game on Monday night too. Everton, who are fighting for their lives at the opposite end of the Premier League, visit us under Sean Dyche’s determined and pragmatic leadership. We are very much at the business end of the season, and every point counts. With every home and away ticket expected to be sold, your support will, as it has all season, continue to matter hugely to our players in our remaining seven matches.

We remain determined to ensure that this is our best ever season, and with at least five of those last seven matches also featuring live on either Sky Sports or BT Sport, there will be plenty of opportunity for Albion fans unable to secure tickets to watch the run-in.

By SportsPro
Paul Barber speaking alongside club ambassador Glenn Murray, as well as Albion-supporting American Express senior executive, Beverly Sawyers.

Off the field, it was a great pleasure to be invited to speak at the SportsPro Live 2023 event at The Oval in London alongside club ambassador, Glenn Murray, and Albion-supporting American Express senior executive, Beverly Sawyers. We discussed the impact and value, on and off the field, of our long-term partnership with American Express, which includes fantastic support for both the club and Albion in the Community, and took questions from a live audience of over 400 people.

Alongside responding positively to interview requests from a wide range of national and international media, we are now regularly invited to contribute to major conferences and events around the world, helping to build the club’s profile. Such events also provide important recognition for our commercial partners, something we will be doing for American Express during our participation in the Premier League’s Summer Series 2023 in the United States, for which all three of our matches are now sold out.

Enjoy the game.