On a weekend when football had boycotted social media, Manchester United fans staged a real-life mass protest. The turn-out at Old Trafford was on such a grand scale that Manchester United fans’ protest postponed Liverpool match.
After United’s disastrous involvement in the failed Super League, the club’s fans want the Glazer family, who own it, out. They want the Glazers to sell out and instil a 50+1 rule which prioritizes fan ownership instead.
To this end, some Manchester United fans broke into their Carrington training ground to protest the Glazer ownership on April 22nd.
Two days later, hundreds of fans, gathered outside Old Trafford to protest the American owners’ using United as a cash cow.
Now, around 2000 fans not only gathered outside Old Trafford and Lowry hotel, but actually stormed the pitch in protest.
Supporters stormed the pitch and the stadium at the Theatre of Dreams. After 16 years of resentment (Glazers bought United in 2005), the Super League drama was the final straw for fans. They want the Glazers to forego their ownership of United, which sunk a debt-free club into startling debt.
Their #GlazersOut protest thus forced a halt on the Manchester United vs Liverpool home fixture.
Manchester United Fans’ Protest Postponed Liverpool Match
The Super League reignited a 16-year-old feud between United fans and owners. They herded into Old Trafford, with some protestors so young that they weren’t even born when Glazers entered in 2005.
Parents arrived with their children to demand change civilly, and did not get volatile on the pitch and the stands of the club they love.
Fans spilled forth onto the pitch that they haven’t had access to since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020. Shouts of “We want Glazers out” filled the air.
‘Apology not accepted’ read a number of banners, referencing Joel Glazer’s open letter to fans following United’s decision to withdraw from Super League.
Other popular banner messages were ‘#GlazersOut’ and ‘50+1’, because fans want the Glazers to concede ownership over to them.
Staff members had to lock themselves in rooms for protection as the old stadium was put into lockdown.
Storming the Stadium
So, about two-and-a-half hours before Manchester United’s kick-off against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side, the stadium was…already occupied.
Two bangs from fireworks signalled to protestors to file into the stadium. Once on the pitch, a few protestors played with the match ball while others paraded corner flags around the ground.
And these were just half the fans protesting, because the other half were protesting outside the ground. Some gathered outside Lowry Hotel, from the windows of which some United players peeked at the fans below.
Police helicopters flew overhead around the stadium and referee Michael Oliver ensured the stands were fully clear of protestors.
Following this clearing of the stadium, a small number of fans clashed with police around the entrance to the Munich Tunnel. However, those involved will face punishment from Greater Manchester Police.
The protest was also a breach of COVID regulation.
Still, it is important to note that only a minority of the fans caused any sort of havoc. The overall protest was peaceful and non-volatile.
When Will Manchester United vs Liverpool Kick Off Now?
How will Premier League determine when to reschedule the match to?
Manchester United have to play their Europa League semi-final second leg, and then likely play the final on May 26. Besides, they are already due to play every midweek in May before Premier League season ends on May 23.
Both Liverpool and United are already playing in the final midweek of the Premier League, per their schedule.
For now, Premier League say rearranged date will be announced in ‘due course’.
So, for now, we can revel in the sheer force of fan power, which is bringing this, and larger, change into the world.