MANCHESTER, England – Protests against the property of Manchester United fans forced the postponement of the Premier League match on Sunday against Liverpool, as fans stormed the stadium and reached the field, while thousands of others gathered in front of Old Trafford to claim family property. Glaser to sell the club.
Long-standing anger against the American owners has boiled over after they were part of a failed attempt to take United into the European Super League. Supporters are not available for gaming due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The United and Liverpool players were unable to travel to the stadium, where there were brief clashes between fans and police in a shower of glass bottles when rockets were sent.
Although the crowds were later dispersed at the time the game was due to begin, United said the game was postponed “for security and safety reasons around the protest” after discussions with police, authorities and the league.
“Our fans are passionate about Manchester United and we fully recognize the right to free expression and peaceful protest,” said a statement from United. “However, we regret the interruption of the team’s work and the actions that endanger other fans, employees and the police. We thank the police for their support and will assist them in all future investigations. “
The Premier League, which is about to announce a new date for the match, has expressed concern about the disorder.
“Everyone’s safety and security at Old Trafford remains paramount,” the Premier League said in a statement. “We understand and respect the power of feelings, but we condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and violation, especially given the related violations of COVID-19. Fans have many channels through which to present their views, but the actions of the minority are seen today they have no justification.
“We sympathize with the police and the stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should not have a place in football.”
The Glazers, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bookers, have refused to engage with fans since buying United in 2005 on a leverage, which has strained the club’s debt.
“Get out of our club,” fans chanted as rockets were fired. “We want the Glazers out.”
Fans found a way to enter the stadium and also climbed the viewpoint to the entrances to the turnstile.
Supporters wore green and gold scarves and also fired rockets in the club’s 1878 colors. More than 100 fans entered the stadium, and some could be seen from windows waving at the protesters. Corner flags were raised and a supporter was spotted throwing a tripod out of the interview area.
Police later released the protesters on horseback fans outside the stadium, such as glass bottles were thrown in brief clashes. Some fans returned to the main road near the stadium with police forming a line to stop them from returning.
If United had lost the planned match, Manchester City would have won the Premier League title. United are the record 20-time champions of England, but have not lifted the trophy since 2013.
United and Liverpool were among six clubs in the Premier League that tried to form an exclusive European Super League, along with three clubs from Spain and Italy. Widespread opposition quickly ended the project, with all six British teams withdrawing within 48 hours of the announcement.
Since then, Big 6 clubs have been controlling the damage, offering various forms of apologies and regrets, while fans, long frustrated with billionaire owners, have been calling for wholesale changes.