Manchester United’s game against Liverpool has been postponed after about 200 fans broke into Old Trafford.
Fan broke in to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club hours before the game against Liverpool kick off at 4:30 British Standard Time (BST) today Sunday 02 May 2021.
The protests follow United’s decision, along with five fellow Premier League clubs, to join the European Super League (ESL) last month, before subsequently all pulling out.
It is believed that the EPL and both clubs sanctioned the protest as they said in a statement:
“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities,”
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”.
MUST added that Joel Glazer “and his family have shown time and again that their sole motivation is personal profit at the expense of our football club”.
Liverpool United also released a statement saying:
“It is our position that public safety must be the number one factor in any such decision, with the ability to provide a secure environment for the participants, staff and officials being a particular priority,” said the Anfield club.
“It was clearly not possible for this to be guaranteed due to a situation which escalated rapidly.”
Supporters are currently not allowed into grounds because of the coronavirus pandemic but some United fans got on to the Old Trafford pitch to protest and, even though they were removed, some then made it back on to the grass later on.
“The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance,” added the Premier League, after calling the game off at just after 17:35.
“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.
Reports suggested that most of the protests were peaceful but that a minority engaged in significant disorder, putting other fans, staff and police at risk.
Manchester United Muppetiers podcaster Mike Parrott said “It’s been pandemonium,” at Old Trafford prior to the game being postponed.
“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. On one side, that’s how protests work in that you need to send a message, but it’s also not great.
“Breaking cameras, breaking glass and rushing the stadium, all these terrible things are not what Manchester United fans want to be associated with.
“They shouldn’t be doing it whatsoever. I don’t think this conveys a message that they want the 50+1 fan ownership, which was the original idea. It hasn’t really worked in my eyes.”
Another fan protesting at Old Trafford told BBC sport reporter:
“When they [the Glazers] came in 2005, the club wasn’t in any debt, a few years later you’re talking £400m in debt.”You look at the stadium, it’s a beautiful stadium but there is rust, it’s falling apart and they just don’t care at all, there’s no communication with the fans.”They said they would communicate with the fans but last week there was a supporters’ community meeting, they didn’t go.”I think we are doing this in the best possible way.”
More update to come regarding the rescheduling the game.