Manchester United’s Premier League game against Liverpool was postponed after about 200 fans broke into Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. It is the first time a Premier League match has been postponed because of fan protests.
“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities,” said the Premier League.
Fans had gathered outside the ground and scores of green and gold flares, the colors of United’s first shirts when they were formed as Newton Heath in 1878, and of the original anti-Glazer protests in 2010.
The owners of the big six clubs totally misjudged the mood of their team’s fans, none more so than the Manchester United-owning Glazer family.
Supporters have always hated the Glazers’ motives ever since they took control in 2005, believing them to be driven purely by money. The £1B they have taken out of the club in interest payments and director fees, indicate that is all the Glazers care about.
Images of the protest, which had been publicized in the days prior to the game, saw fans let off flares at the United team hotel before up to 200 forced their way into the stadium and onto the pitch, where they climbed on goalposts, stole corner flags and footballs and entered the tunnel area and dressing rooms, which saw COVID-19 protocols breached in the bio-secure red zone.
In the wake of the European Super League collapsing, United co-chairman Joel Glazer said the club “apologised unreservedly” but the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said it had “zero trust in the owners”.
On the protests before the Liverpool game, MUST said they had been “the culmination of 16 years since the Glazer family’s acquisition of the club”.
It added: “On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an ‘apology’ from the Glazers which we do not accept, we need to give fans a meaningful share in the ownership of United and a meaningful voice in how it is run.
“The government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club – and, more to the point, no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.
“The government needs to reflect the views of ordinary people who see that now is the time to reclaim the people’s game.”