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Hundreds of Manchester United supporters stormed the pitch at Old Trafford ahead of their game against Liverpool in protest at the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, before clashing with police in ugly scenes.

Greater Manchester Police have confirmed two officers have been left injured with one officer being ‘attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.’

The local derby match has now been postponed, with broadcaster Sky Sports confirming it will go ahead at a later date, which is yet to be decided. 

There were clashes as fans tried to break police lines outside the stadium, with officers drawing batons to keep the crowds back and bottles and other projectiles thrown. A line of riot police, backed by horses, pushed the crowds back from the area where the players were set to enter the ground. 

The storming of Old Trafford came after many more blockaded the entrance to the Lowry Hotel where the United players and staff are staying and use each weekend prior to a home fixture.

Representatives from the two teams and the Premier League came together to convene and discuss the situation at 4pm, after which it was determined that for safety reasons the fixture could not press ahead.

Both teams were held back at their team hotel by Greater Manchester Police, while match referee Michael Oliver was also delayed in accessing the ground. 

Tensions escalated when police moved in to move the protestors away from the Old Trafford forecourt with batons drawn

Tensions escalated when police moved in to move the protestors away from the Old Trafford forecourt with batons drawn

Tensions escalated when police moved in to move the protestors away from the Old Trafford forecourt with batons drawn

Some fans lifted red barriers to hurl at the police lines as efforts were made to clear the Old Trafford exterior

Some fans lifted red barriers to hurl at the police lines as efforts were made to clear the Old Trafford exterior

Some fans lifted red barriers to hurl at the police lines as efforts were made to clear the Old Trafford exterior 

Police attempted to clear the crowds from away from the player entrance and tunnel area at Old Trafford

Police attempted to clear the crowds from away from the player entrance and tunnel area at Old Trafford

Police attempted to clear the crowds from away from the player entrance and tunnel area at Old Trafford

Bottles and other projectiles were hurled at the riot officers from the protesting fans as tensions escalated

Bottles and other projectiles were hurled at the riot officers from the protesting fans as tensions escalated

Bottles and other projectiles were hurled at the riot officers from the protesting fans as tensions escalated 

The Glazer family, United's owners, signed the club up to the European Super League before making a u-turn 48 hours later amid a furious backlash

The Glazer family, United's owners, signed the club up to the European Super League before making a u-turn 48 hours later amid a furious backlash

The Glazer family, United’s owners, signed the club up to the European Super League before making a u-turn 48 hours later amid a furious backlash

Hundreds of Manchester United fans have stormed the pitch at Old Trafford in protest at the club's American owners ahead of Sunday afternoon's match with Liverpool

Hundreds of Manchester United fans have stormed the pitch at Old Trafford in protest at the club's American owners ahead of Sunday afternoon's match with Liverpool

Hundreds of Manchester United fans have stormed the pitch at Old Trafford in protest at the club’s American owners ahead of Sunday afternoon’s match with Liverpool

One fan among those who stormed Old Trafford grabbed the corner flag as they stormed the pitch ahead of the match

One fan among those who stormed Old Trafford grabbed the corner flag as they stormed the pitch ahead of the match

One fan among those who stormed Old Trafford grabbed the corner flag as they stormed the pitch ahead of the match

The crowd that breached Old Trafford perimeter gathered in front of the south stand, lighting smoke flares and chanting

The crowd that breached Old Trafford perimeter gathered in front of the south stand, lighting smoke flares and chanting

The crowd that breached Old Trafford perimeter gathered in front of the south stand, lighting smoke flares and chanting

Fans were finally dispersed and the local area was brought under control, but banners against the Glazers remained behind

Fans were finally dispersed and the local area was brought under control, but banners against the Glazers remained behind

Fans were finally dispersed and the local area was brought under control, but banners against the Glazers remained behind

A police helicopter was deployed to keep a constant watch over the stadium after it was announced the game is postponed

A police helicopter was deployed to keep a constant watch over the stadium after it was announced the game is postponed

A police helicopter was deployed to keep a constant watch over the stadium after it was announced the game is postponed

T-shirts were made specially for the protest as United fans spent the week before the big derby match making preparations

T-shirts were made specially for the protest as United fans spent the week before the big derby match making preparations

T-shirts were made specially for the protest as United fans spent the week before the big derby match making preparations

A discarded protective face mask was seen on the floor outside the Lowry hotel, which appeared to be coated in blood

A discarded protective face mask was seen on the floor outside the Lowry hotel, which appeared to be coated in blood

A discarded protective face mask was seen on the floor outside the Lowry hotel, which appeared to be coated in blood

MANCHESTER UNITED CLUB STATEMENT

Following discussion between the Police, The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, our match against Liverpool has been postponed due to safety and security considerations around the protest today. 

Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.

Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.

However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger. 

We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.

PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT

Following the security breach at Old Trafford, the Manchester United vs. Liverpool game has been postponed.

This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.

The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance. We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches. 

Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football.

The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.

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At around 6pm local reports in Manchester confirmed the gathered crowds which remained at the Lowry hotel had begun ‘thinning,’ though one supporter was reported to have been taken away by police causing uproar among fans.

The Manchester Evening News reported that the remaining fans ‘got very angry and started throwing bottles,’ before police ‘got kitted up in full riot kit.’

Earlier, at the height of the protests, a section of the crowd had shouted ‘we want Glazers out’ and ‘United, United’ as they ran onto the pitch. Outside the Lowry, others chanted ‘we decide when you play’. 

One protester was filmed picking up a camera tripod from a pitchside media position inside the stadium and hurling it onto the pitch. 

Others tried to get down the tunnel, while another took a corner flag and some swung from the crossbar of one of the goals. Many were clutching beer bottles. 

Later, television footage from inside the ground showed a smaller number of fans still inside the stadium. Some clambered over the seating to taunt stewards before police moved in.  

Thousands had assembled at an organised protest outside Old Trafford against the Glazer family and their efforts to sign United up to the European Super League

Officials at Old Trafford also convened an emergency meeting to determine whether any Covid-19 protocols had been breached following the stadium invasion. Fans were not due to be in attendance at the game.

Footage in the aftermath started to circulate on social media, appearing to show the officer within Old Trafford who had makeshift stitches placed over a nasty, bleeding cut on his face.

The man could also be seen to have a bruised eye, and was understood to have been hit by a bottle thrown by supporters.

Just after what should have been the scheduled kick-off time, police succeeded in pushing back the crowds and clearing the Old Trafford forecourt, while the residue of banners, flares and protest items could be seen strewn across the floor.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, condemned a ‘minority’ of Manchester United supporters for their roles in the protests.

Burnham took to Twitter on Sunday to say he ‘fully understands’ the concerns that led United supporters to protest, adding that it is ‘essential that those running the club and the game listen to them’.

He wrote in a statement: ‘It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.

‘This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.’

United were one of six Premier League clubs who initially signed up to the doomed Super League project last month. They all withdrew 48 hours later following a furious backlash from the wider football community.

Joel Glazer made an apology to supporters for signing up to the doomed Super League project but many United fans carried placards at the protest reading ‘apology not accepted’.  

The departure of the team bus on the short journey from the Lowry Hotel in central Manchester to Old Trafford was delayed as police tried to force back the crowds and restore order. 

Riot police did manage to clear the area around Old Trafford at around 4.30pm - when the game should have started

Riot police did manage to clear the area around Old Trafford at around 4.30pm - when the game should have started

Riot police did manage to clear the area around Old Trafford at around 4.30pm – when the game should have started

A red flare is let off inside Old Trafford as Manchester United fans protest on Sunday after they breached security lines

A red flare is let off inside Old Trafford as Manchester United fans protest on Sunday after they breached security lines

A red flare is let off inside Old Trafford as Manchester United fans protest on Sunday after they breached security lines

The scale of the numbers protesting outside Old Trafford can be seen in this picture taken outside the east stand corner

The scale of the numbers protesting outside Old Trafford can be seen in this picture taken outside the east stand corner

The scale of the numbers protesting outside Old Trafford can be seen in this picture taken outside the east stand corner

Protesting fans set off smoke flares outside Old Trafford as they make their feelings known before some got inside

Protesting fans set off smoke flares outside Old Trafford as they make their feelings known before some got inside

Protesting fans set off smoke flares outside Old Trafford as they make their feelings known before some got inside  

Flares in the club's original colours of green and yellow were set off outside Old Trafford as fans made themselves heard

Flares in the club's original colours of green and yellow were set off outside Old Trafford as fans made themselves heard

Flares in the club’s original colours of green and yellow were set off outside Old Trafford as fans made themselves heard

Thousands of United fans protested outside and inside Old Trafford against the Glazer family, who bought the club in 2005

Thousands of United fans protested outside and inside Old Trafford against the Glazer family, who bought the club in 2005

Thousands of United fans protested outside and inside Old Trafford against the Glazer family, who bought the club in 2005

Some demanded the installation of Germany's 50+1 ownership model at the protest, which ensured voting right for the fans

Some demanded the installation of Germany's 50+1 ownership model at the protest, which ensured voting right for the fans

Some demanded the installation of Germany’s 50+1 ownership model at the protest, which ensured voting right for the fans

Security personnel battled in vain to keep the protesters outside the stadium but barriers were kicked down

Security personnel battled in vain to keep the protesters outside the stadium but barriers were kicked down

Security personnel battled in vain to keep the protesters outside the stadium but barriers were kicked down 

GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE STATEMENT

Officers were aware of a protest planned to take place in Old Trafford today (Sunday 2 May) and were working closely alongside partners to ensure those that attended were kept safe whilst enabling their right to peaceful protest.

Early this afternoon, groups of protestors began to gather at Old Trafford and separately at The Lowry Hotel, Salford where the United players were staying. By late afternoon around 200 protestors had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1,000 at Old Trafford.

Officers continued to closely monitor the situation, engaging with those present but as the groups grew in size; it became clear that many of those present were not intending to exercise their right to peaceful protest. Flares were let off and bottles thrown at officers.

Protestors outside Old Trafford became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police before a group of about 100 forced entry to the ground with some United staff having to lock themselves in rooms.

Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses. Two officers have been injured with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.

With the situation increasing in hostility, additional officers had to be deployed and officers had to be drawn in from neighbouring forces to assist Greater Manchester officers.

Following discussion with The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, a joint decision was made to postpone the match for safety reasons.

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A ring of riot police surrounded the steps leading up to the hotel entrance to allow the players to board the team coach safely but the United squad remained at the hotel an hour before kick-off. 

Players were spotted looking out of windows on the third and fourth floors of the hotel as they awaited news as to whether the match would go ahead as planned. 

Smoke bombs were set off both outside the Lowry and outside Old Trafford. Dozens of police in riot gear lined up to keep protesters at a safe distance from the entrance to the upmarket hotel. 

At Old Trafford, it is believed those who gained access to the ground did so via the Munich Tunnel, after pushing down barriers, despite the attempts of security guards to prevent that happening.  

Once inside, they kicked footballs laid out for the pre-match warm-ups. Many of the fans wore green and gold scarves – the colours of Newton Heath, the predecessor of Man United – which have become emblematic of the anti-Glazer movement.  

But the crowd did quickly disperse back outside the stadium after a few minutes at around 2.20pm, just over two hours before kick-off. 

THE GLAZERS, THE EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE AND A HISTORY OF CONTROVERSIAL ACTIONS

Playing a huge role in the doomed European Super League was just the latest in a long line of actions which has irked the United fanbase, leaving thousands disillusioned with their football club.

The Glazer family, along with Liverpool’s America owner John W. Henry, were said to be the driving force behind the plan which also brought in Arsenal, Tottenham and belatedly Manchester City and Chelsea. The latter pair were understood to be reluctant to put their names to the plan, and swiftly pulled out once the backlash was felt.

A photograph, taken in October 2017, showed United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer dining around a table at a fancy New York restaurant, along with the fellow ‘Big Six’ owners. 

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

(L-R) Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Man United co-owners Avi Glazer and Joel Glazer and Liverpool principal owner John W Henry met up for dinner in New York in October 2017. Was this the day the Super League took a giant step towards being created?

At the time, Sportsmail reported how television rights could well have been on the agenda of their meeting because the three sides had been agitating for a greater slice of the pie. But now experts believe the project that has sparked a ‘nuclear war’ in world football may have been on the menu.

Instead of splitting the income equally between 20 Premier League teams, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United wanted a model similar to Spain, where Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid – coincidentally also founder members of the Super League get more of the cash. All six are part of the ‘dirty dozen’ of clubs now signed up.

The extraordinary meeting re-emerged as UEFA’s boss has slammed the billionaire ‘snakes’ and ‘liars’ behind the European Super League as it was revealed Boris Johnson will meet the FA, Premier League, the PFA and fans today and vowed to give the £4.3billion breakaway competition ‘the red card’ even though rebel clubs are signed up until 2046.

 A section of the United fanbase opposed Glazer’s initial takeover of the club back in 2005, particularly once they realised the level of debt that the club would have to take on after having been debt-free for so many years. 

The much-maligned Glazer family have failed to get the fans onboard since buying the club as supporters continue to demand change

The much-maligned Glazer family have failed to get the fans onboard since buying the club as supporters continue to demand change

The much-maligned Glazer family have failed to get the fans onboard since buying the club as supporters continue to demand change

The way the Americans have been running the club has led to constant fury regarding United being used as cash cow

The way the Americans have been running the club has led to constant fury regarding United being used as cash cow

The way the Americans have been running the club has led to constant fury regarding United being used as cash cow

In their anger, fans launched a breakaway football club F.C. United of Manchester in 2005, which entered the North West Counties Football League and played in the sixth tier National League North from 2015 to 2019. 

Since 2005, the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust has been working on a way of wrestling control away from the Glazer family and returning ownership of the club to supporters. In 2010, the fan organisation met with a group of wealthy United fans – dubbed the ‘Red Knights’ – to discuss a billion-pound takeover bid. However, the bid fell through when the Red Knights refused to meet the Glazers’ valuation of the club.

On 29 June 2005, on their first visit to Old Trafford after the takeover was completed, Joel, Bryan and Avram Glazer were met with protests by around 300 Manchester United fans who opposed the club’s new ownership. 

Around 100 members of Greater Manchester Police were called to the stadium in an attempt to quell any violence, but there were reports of missiles being thrown at the police vans and strong, impassioned chants against the Americans; two people were arrested. 

The vice-chairman of Shareholders United, Sean Bones, declared that ‘the Glazer family are the enemies of Manchester United.’ Club director and former player Bobby Charlton issued a public apology to the Glazers for the reception they received. 

The debt taken on by the Glazers to finance the takeover was split between the club and the family; between £265 million and £275 million was secured against Manchester United’s assets, putting the club into debt for the first time since James Gibson saved them in 1931.

In total the Glazers have taken an estimated £200million from the club in dividends since they loaded £540m of borrowings on what had been a debt-free club when they launched their takeover in 2005. 

At Old Trafford, the Glazers remain silent owners and are rarely seen around the club on match days. Much of the day to day running of the club was left to former chief Ed Woodward, who recently announced he would be resigning from his position at the end of the year, in light of the Super League disgrace. 

Woodward was a key figure in fiercely controversial plans for the new breakaway league, with his links to US investment bank JP Morgan helping to secure the £4.3billion in financing.

After publicly confirming his decision, Woodward said: ‘I am extremely proud to have served United and it has been an honour to work for the world’s greatest football club for the past 16 years.

‘The club is well positioned for the future and it will be difficult to walk away at the end of the year.’

Woodward will leave United after eight years at the helm and 16 years after he first became involved as part of the £790million takeover at Old Trafford by the Glazers in 2005.

He has been credited with overseeing a 500 per cent growth in commercial revenue from £47m in 2005 to £279m in 2020, but also criticised for opening up the United brand to ‘noodle sponsorships’ around the globe.

Woodward has been held responsible by supporters for United winning only three trophies during his time in charge, and his Cheshire home was targeted by an angry mob in January 2020.

 

United initially joining the European Super League has led to a wave of fans calling for change and caused the mass protest

United initially joining the European Super League has led to a wave of fans calling for change and caused the mass protest

United initially joining the European Super League has led to a wave of fans calling for change and caused the mass protest

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A police officer deals with a smoke flare thrown through a glass window inside Old Trafford after fans breached the ground

A police officer deals with a smoke flare thrown through a glass window inside Old Trafford after fans breached the ground

A police officer deals with a smoke flare thrown through a glass window inside Old Trafford after fans breached the ground

Angry fans make their feeling known outside Old Trafford as part of Sunday's protests against the unpopular Glazer family

Angry fans make their feeling known outside Old Trafford as part of Sunday's protests against the unpopular Glazer family

Angry fans make their feeling known outside Old Trafford as part of Sunday’s protests against the unpopular Glazer family

Fans light coloured smoke flares in front of the 'United Trinity' statue of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton

Fans light coloured smoke flares in front of the 'United Trinity' statue of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton

Fans light coloured smoke flares in front of the ‘United Trinity’ statue of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton

Fans told the glazer family their apology over joining the breakaway European Super League wasn't accepted

Fans told the glazer family their apology over joining the breakaway European Super League wasn't accepted

Fans told the glazer family their apology over joining the breakaway European Super League wasn’t accepted

Fans in green and gold protest scarves chant outside Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon ahead of the match with Liverpool

Fans in green and gold protest scarves chant outside Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon ahead of the match with Liverpool

Fans in green and gold protest scarves chant outside Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon ahead of the match with Liverpool

However, TV footage did later show a small pocket of protesters still in the stands in a corner of the stadium an hour later. 

Some were filmed climbing over seats to goad security personnel in one corner of the stadium before police managed to move the group out through the tunnel area by the Stretford End. 

The match carries great significance to the Premier League title race as Manchester City will be confirmed as champions if Liverpool beat United.

Speaking on Sky Sports, former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher said: ‘The feeling of Manchester United and Arsenal fans towards their owners was a lot bigger than the Super League. I think that’s why they’ve protested so much.

‘This is not just about the Super League for Manchester United – this goes back 10 or 15 years ago when they were taking money out of the bank and charging season ticket holders if they didn’t want to go to a Carling Cup game, or maybe a Europa League game and just taking money off fans.

United were one of six Premier League teams signed up to the European Super League project - before being forced to u-turn

United were one of six Premier League teams signed up to the European Super League project - before being forced to u-turn

United were one of six Premier League teams signed up to the European Super League project – before being forced to u-turn

‘I totally get the frustration of Manchester United fans, and Arsenal fans, I think they’re in a similar situation with their owners. Every football fan in some way should stand with them. 

‘We don’t want to see games called off, no-one wants to see that, but supporters are frustrated with the ownership of their own clubs. What we spoke about with the Super League, and supporters stopping that – we saw the scenes at Chelsea as well – supporters coming together is powerful.

‘Me even as a Liverpool fan, being part of those six clubs that tried to move away, I cannot criticise Manchester United fans for how they’ve gone about things basically. 

‘An ownership running their club for the last 15 years has had no thought whatsoever for them. They do spend a lot of money, but I go back to what they did with the season tickets and they state of the club now compared to when they first came in.’

Fellow pundit and Manchester United club legend Roy Keane added: ‘The reason they’ve done it today is because it’s Liverpool at home. They could’ve done it against Roma but it wouldn’t have got as many headlines.’

‘Today is a huge game, there’s huge interest from all over the world and there was an opportunity for United fans to make a huge statement and that’s why they did it today because it was Liverpool, the last few weeks have just pushed United fans over the edge.’

The Irishman then went on to make a joke at his former Liverpool rival Carragher, suggesting that a flare was thrown in his direction during the mayhem.

Keane added: ‘It’s come to a tipping point now for United fans. It was peaceful, I think they threw one or two bottles and a couple of flares – I think that was towards Jamie (Carragher) to be fair.

‘They’ve had enough – enough is enough for these United fans now. United have some of the best fans in the world, huge club, we’ve seen today that they’re thinking enough is enough with the ownership of the club.

‘With all the stuff over the last two weeks, frustrations with the Super League, I suppose even not being able to support the team over the last year, enough is enough now. The United fans obviously want the Glazers out.’

Gary Neville calls on ‘ALL football fans to unite for reform’ after anti-Glazer protestors force Liverpool clash to be postponed… while Jamie Carragher admits he ‘cannot criticise’ United supporters for their anger

Gary Neville called for a fans’ revolt to reform English football after Manchester United’s potential title-decider against Liverpool was postponed when home supporters stormed Old Trafford to protest against the Glazers’ ownership.

Protesters set off smoke bombs and flares outside the Theatre of Dreams as the demonstration turned violent in clashes with police, while another group tried to prevent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s squad leaving the Lowry Hotel.  

Footage has emerged of cars being tipped over in the city, while even the Sky Sports punditry crew were targeted inside the ground. The clash was supposed to kick-off at 4:30pm but after an hour of confusion, the game was called-off. 

United fans’ long-running discontent with the Glazers has boiled over after their cynical plot to join the European Super League collapsed, and Neville has called-on supporters to keep fighting back. 

Gary Neville has backed Manchester United fans after their dramatic protest at Old Trafford and has called for reform

Gary Neville has backed Manchester United fans after their dramatic protest at Old Trafford and has called for reform

Gary Neville has backed Manchester United fans after their dramatic protest at Old Trafford and has called for reform

‘It’s a warning to the owners of the football clubs. We know some fans came in and were reasonably peaceful,’ the former right-back said on Sky Sports punditry duty. 

‘The fans have spoken. It’s not going to go away. Fans don’t trust the owners of Manchester United, they don’t like them, they think the owners should leave. 

‘Beyond today, fans across the country need to unite to make sure there is reform in English football

‘We don’t want to hear about disturbances today but fans have had enough. The story today is that the fans have set the spark. Will they stop another game next time? 

‘I hope they’ll move towards something more measured, calm and pointed. The ball is in the owners’ court. Two weeks ago, I must say it again, it was a shocker.’ 

Jamie Carragher felt that a small minority of fans had hijacked the protest for their own purposes and diluted the message.

‘I see some other clubs trying to score points (by criticising United fans). We’ve lost a game of football today but you have to accept that. 

A huge crowd turned-up to express their discontent with the owners, overwhelming security and making a big statement

A huge crowd turned-up to express their discontent with the owners, overwhelming security and making a big statement

A huge crowd turned-up to express their discontent with the owners, overwhelming security and making a big statement

‘A few idiots might have done things but the main aim of this from MU supporters is unhappiness with their owners. You should be able to demonstrate, but a few idiots ruin it for everyone.’

Neville’s former team-mate Roy Keane said that the size of the protest sent out a message – with the Irishman expecting follow-up demonstrations. 

‘It’s a huge statement for the game to be called off. Sometimes you have to put a marker down for people to take notice, hopefully the owners will take this seriously. This is just the start of it, mark my words,’ he claimed.

‘This is the start of it and their plan no doubt is for the United owners to give in and sell the club.’

Graeme Souness felt the dissenting fans had achieved their objectives. ‘If you set out to do something that would be seen by the whole world, you’ve done that,’ he said. 

Before the postponement had been announced, former Red Devils right back launching a renewed attack on the Glazers following the failed attempt to take Manchester United into the ESL.

The debacle has already led to chief executive Ed Woodward announcing that he will step down at the end of 2021 and now the supporters want the Glazers to follow suit.

Neville said he understood their anger and slammed his old club for failing to understand their privileged role within English football: ‘I’ve never thought they were brilliant owners, but I’ve seen there are worse owners in football than the Glazer family. However, I think all football fans should unite today behind what Manchester United fans have done.

‘What they did two years ago was dangerous for English football, we must not forget that. They tried to walk away and create a closed-shop league which would have basically created a famine in this country for every other football club.

Fans set off flares and smoke bombs outside before the Liverpool match and demanded the Glazers leave

Fans set off flares and smoke bombs outside before the Liverpool match and demanded the Glazers leave

Fans set off flares and smoke bombs outside before the Liverpool match and demanded the Glazers leave

‘Those 15 clubs (who would have made up the European Super League) would have walked away from their leagues and basically destroyed the ethos of the pyramid and relegation in English football. That’s number one, it’s unforgivable what they did as a family two weeks ago.

‘The Glazer family two weeks ago tried to implement something that would have damaged every single community that has football at the heart of it. That’s why they’re dangerous. 

‘Perez is dangerous, Agnelli, Laporta… they are dangerous to the concept of equal opportunity and fair play in European football.

‘Let’s not forget what we’re arguing about here. Today there is anger. I hope tomorrow it switches to mobilisation towards reform and regulation behind the fan-led review.

‘When I talked about Manchester United and Liverpool two weeks ago, they should act like the grandfather of English football.

‘Demonstrating compassion, spreading wealth through the family and being fair. They haven’t done. They’ve demonstrated greed and tried to walk away with all the money themselves and left the family struggling below. That is not what you do at this football club or Liverpool Football Club.’  

Fans were furious at the historic club's attempt to join the European Super League, which seems to have been the final straw

Fans were furious at the historic club's attempt to join the European Super League, which seems to have been the final straw

Fans were furious at the historic club’s attempt to join the European Super League, which seems to have been the final straw

Although most of the crowd did disperse at around 2.20pm, shortly after entering the stadium, some fans were still there an hour later. 

Carragher also backed the eye-catching stance by fans and said the animosity towards the owners of the Red Devils is about far more than planning to join a breakaway league. 

‘The feeling of Manchester United and Arsenal fans towards their owners was a lot bigger than the Super League. I think that’s why they’ve protested so much,’ the ex-Liverpool centre back said. 

‘This is not just about the Super League for Manchester United – this goes back 10 or 15 years ago when they were taking money out of the bank and charging season ticket holders if they didn’t want to go to a Carling Cup game, or maybe a Europa League game and just taking money off fans.

‘I totally get the frustration of Manchester United fans, and Arsenal fans, I think they’re in a similar situation with their owners. Every football fan in some way should stand with them. 

Police were forced to push back to clear the Old Trafford concourse, leaving behind a devastating mess across the streets

Police were forced to push back to clear the Old Trafford concourse, leaving behind a devastating mess across the streets

Police were forced to push back to clear the Old Trafford concourse, leaving behind a devastating mess across the streets

‘We don’t want to see games called off, no-one wants to see that, but supporters are frustrated with the ownership of their own clubs. What we spoke about with the Super League, and supporters stopping that – we saw the scenes at Chelsea as well – supporters coming together is powerful.

‘Me even as a Liverpool fan, being part of those six clubs that tried to move away, I cannot criticise Manchester United fans for how they’ve gone about things basically. 

‘An ownership running their club for the last 15 years has had no thought whatsoever for them. They do spend a lot of money, but I go back to what they did with the season tickets and they state of the club now compared to when they first came in.’ 

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