Manchester United fan engagement 'akin to religion' - managing director

Manchester United engage with their fanbase and global community on a level that is "akin to religion," according to managing director Richard Arnold.

Arnold provided context for his assertion by saying that 80 percent of the world's televisions carry channels that show United matches, that the club have had a billion interactions on Facebook, and added that they have 659 million followers worldwide.

Arnold was quoted by the Daily Mail, speaking at Web Summit 2016, saying: "The level we are engaging at, to put it in context, is akin to religion.

"John Lennon was famously quoted as saying The Beatles were 'bigger than Jesus.'

"Whilst we wouldn't want to be disrespectful in that way, what you are seeing from a measurement point of view is that the level of engagement and fervour we get is on par with the world's major religions and those are the only things at the same level as Manchester United in terms of that interaction and engagement."

Arnold said the club would introduce an app into their most popular markets and praised the impact of their 'Pogback' campaign, which was a social media strategy.

Comparing United to their competitors, he said: "We are on a different scale to other clubs in our league. We are also the biggest in the world at what we do across any sport and any team.

"Sport is one of the most engaging things in the world. Within that, we are the most engaged."