The Glazers, who are the American owners of the team, were the target of a protest that had been intended to take place outside the stadium.
However, the rally turned violent when a group of approximately one hundred people broke inside the grounds. Image: Reuters Video
A planned peaceful protest outside the stadium by fans angry with the club’s owners, the Glazers, turned into chaotic and violent scenes as a group of approximately one hundred people broke into the ground, causing criminal damage and forcing some staff members to lock themselves into rooms for safety.
As a result, the game between Manchester United and Liverpool that was scheduled to take place at Old Trafford on Sunday was postponed.
It was about five hours after fans gathered at the stadium that it was announced that the Premier League match between the two most illustrious clubs in English football would be postponed until a date that has not yet been chosen.
This is the most vivid indication of the breakdown of trust between fans and owners that has occurred up to this point, and it adds additional uncertainty to United’s fixture list in a week when they are scheduled to play the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Roma.
The American family’s longstanding unpopularity with supporters was increased by their signing up to the now-defunct European Super League.
At approximately one o’clock in the afternoon, a mob began assembling outside the stadium, brandishing anti-Glazer banners and yelling against the American family.
At the Lowry hotel, which is located in the heart of the city and is where the team stays before matches, there was also a crowd of approximately two hundred people.
When the latter occurred, the United carriage was surrounded by supporters before the arrival of banks of police, while the number of supporters at Old Trafford increased to thousands after two o’clock in the afternoon.
In advance of the demonstration that will take place on Sunday, Solskjaer says that supporters of Manchester United deserve to be heard.
By 2.30 p.m., security had been breached and the Old Trafford pitch had been invaded.
The mob marched toward the Munich Tunnel of the site, letting off firecrackers and carrying flares. Some of the individuals in the group were holding flares.
At that location, additional firecrackers were set off, flares were thrown, one person was seen swinging on a goal, and another person grabbed a corner flag. Meanwhile, outside, there were clashes with police, with two officers being injured as a result of bottles being thrown, with one officer suffering a slash to his face and requiring medical attention.
Some people inside the stadium congregated by a platform of Sky Sports, the host broadcaster.
At one point, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, who are now pundits and were formerly defenders for United and Liverpool, chatted with a group of people who had broken into the stadium.
In addition, some of the invaders made their way into the tunnel that the players were using, which meant that in order for the match to go, a thorough cleaning would have been necessary in accordance with the regulations of the Covid.
It was said by Neville and Roy Keane, who had previously served as the captain of the team and was also a member of the Sky panel, that they felt the anger and dissatisfaction of the fans regarding the Glazers’ ownership of the club.
The stadium was placed under lockdown at three o’clock, and members of the media were ordered to be detained outside while a search of the stadium was carried out.
Even though neither team had yet left their hotel, Liverpool was also staying in Manchester, the lineups were released one hour before the game was supposed to begin at 4.30 p.m., despite the fact that it was unclear whether the game would even be played on Sunday at all or even if it would even be possible to start at that time.
However, when another group broke into the stadium once more and a further lockdown had to be implemented, some individuals got “violent and antagonistic” in the Munich Tunnel, as described by the Greater Manchester police.
They stated that officers from neighboring forces had to be summoned in to attempt to gain control of the situation.
The day was called off at 5.40 o’clock in the afternoon. Because of the actions of the fans, this is the first Premier League game that has been postponed.
In the stormy reign of the Glazers, the protest is the most dramatic of all the protests.
In June of 2005, Malcolm Glazer completed a buyout that resulted in the club taking on a debt of £525 million.
This gained complete ownership of the team. When Glazer passed away in 2014, his sons Avram and Joel took over as co-chairmen of the board.
Because of what is believed to be a lack of investment in the club both on and off the field, as well as a failure to keep up with rivals Manchester City and Liverpool on the pitch, fans’ resentment at the Glazers’ dominance has intensified since the announcement of the European Super League two weeks ago.
At the time that the news was made, Joel Glazer was assigned the position of vice-chairman of the breakaway league. Following the failure of the preparations for the league, he wrote an open letter to the fans in which he expressed his regret.
There have been demonstrations by supporters of other clubs that are participating in the Super League proposal.
The most notable of these happened at Arsenal, where thousands football supporters gathered outside the Emirates Stadium before their match against Everton to demand that Stan Kroenke, another American millionaire, be removed from ownership of the club.
However, the demonstration that took place on Sunday is the most powerful and potentially the most far-reaching one to date.
The following is an excerpt from a statement released by Manchester United: “Our match against Liverpool has been postponed due to safety and security considerations surrounding the protest that took place today,” following a conversation between the police, the Premier League, the Trafford council, and the clubs.
It has been decided that discussions will now take place with the Premier League over a new date for the matchtime.
Our supporters are extremely enthusiastic about Manchester United, and we fully recognize and respect their right to peaceful protests and the right to voice their opinions freely.
We are, however, sorry for the disturbance that was caused to the team as well as the activities that put other fans, workers, and law enforcement personnel in danger.
The police have our gratitude for their assistance, and we will continue to support them in any investigations that may follow.
The organization continues to be concerned about safety issues, as the gate that was broken through by fans who invaded the pitch is still in a state of disrepair three hours after the incident.
During the contest, there were some ideas that the stewards may create a human barrier to prevent any additional incursions; however, this idea was ultimately rejected.
On account of the fact that the stadium was not completely protected, there was no other choice except to postpone the event.
The Premier League issued the following statement: “We understand and respect the strength of feeling, but we condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage, and trespass, especially given the associated breaches of the Covid-19.”
The behaviors of a minority that are observed today have no validity, despite the fact that fans have several means via which they can make their opinions known.
We have compassion for the law enforcement officers and the stewards who were forced to deal with a potentially hazardous scenario that has no place in the sport of football.
Due to the fact that safety could not be ensured, Liverpool stated that they were “completely in agreement” with the decision to postpone the match.
The United team and the Merseyside team were finally given permission to leave their respective hotels just before 7 o’clock.
An assistant chief constable with the Greater Manchester Police Department named Russ Jackson made the following statement: “The behavior that was displayed today by those at both Old Trafford and The Lowry hotel was reckless and dangerous.”
We have a deep appreciation for the passionate devotion that many fans have for their club, and we completely respect the right to peacefully demonstrate at any time.
Plans had been made to ensure that this could take place in a secure manner; nevertheless, it became immediately apparent that many of those present had no intention of doing so in a peaceful manner.
We were forced to remove officers from front-line enforcement and request assistance from neighboring forces in order to prevent the unrest from becoming even more severe as a result of the acts of those who were present today.
“At various points, bottles and obstacles were thrown, officers were assaulted, and people scaled the structure of the stadium, putting themselves and the officers in danger.
We have initiated an investigation, and we will be working closely with our partners to ensure that we determine the complete set of circumstances surrounding the events that occurred today and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
One of the individuals who participated in the pitch, who identified himself as Ryan, stated to the news agency PA Media that the demonstration was more successful than anticipated.
My opinion is that the goal was to create a disturbance, and I feel that this objective has been accomplished. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Personally, I have spent my entire childhood looking up to this club, and seeing how the Glazers have utilized the club has both infuriated and saddened me.
The scenes that took place on the pitch were amazing; we were able to accomplish what we set out to do and even went one step further by bringing it onto the pitch.
Should I be in agreement with creating harm? Without a doubt, this is not the case, but what exactly do Manchester United anticipate? Years have passed since they were informed this.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust issued a statement in which they said, “The owners have taken one billion pounds out of the club, and we have witnessed decay and decline both on the field and off it.”
The invasion of the stadium was not something that we anticipated, and there are rumors that a gate was opened for fans.
However, even if this is not the case, we feel that the vast majority of Manchester United staff members are sympathetic with the opinions of the fans. — The Guardian