Around 2000 Manchester United fans protested yesterday against the Glazer family’s ownership of their beloved club. After they thus made headlines, there was an overwhelming influx of reactions to Manchester United fans’ protest.
The Manchester United Fans Forum met with club representatives on the morning of last Friday.
And they have five key demands that the club must accept:
- Willingly and openly engage and promote the government-initiated fan-led review of football and use this as an opportunity to rebalance the current ownership structure in the favour of supporters and not approach this review defensively to fight for the status quo
- Appoint independent directors to the board whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the club as a football club, not its shareholders and their focus on profits over results
- Work with the Manchester United Supporters Trust and supporters more broadly to put in place a share scheme that is accessible to all and that has shares with the same voting rights as those held by the Glazer family
- Commit to full consultation with season ticket holders on any significant changes to the future of our club, including the competitions we play in
- Provide a commitment by Joel Glazer that any costs incurred in relation to the creation of, or withdrawal from, the European Super League will be funded solely by the Glazer family and not by the club itself. We note that the Kroenke family have already made this commitment to Arsenal fans.
United fans marched outside Old Trafford and Lowry Hotel in an anti-Glazer demonstration on Sunday.
Half of them even entered the Theatre of Dreams and streamed onto the pitch and into the stands. One group of protestors even played with the ball which would’ve starred in the now-postponed Manchester United vs Liverpool.
The fans made it clear that they want Joel Glazer and the Glazer family to sell their ownership of United.
Rather, as they put forth while protesting, they want the club to switch to fan ownership. United would come under their protection, because their share would be 50+1, that is, 51%.
Reactions to Manchester United Fans’ Protest
Perhaps more than anyone’s response to the massive protest yesterday, a lack of reaction from the Glazers speaks louder.
Joel Glazer, and his American billionaire family the Glazers, have remained notably silent as fans protest to kick them out.
Following the two prior protests staged by United fans too, staff personnel and coaches interacted with the protestors. Now, as well, the Glazers remain silent and don’t seem to be keen on selling their ownership any time soon.
Manchester United’s official website confirmed at 5:40 pm in the evening there that the ensuing fixture against Liverpool was postponed.
They did so in an official statement, which also said: “Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.”
They were also mindful of separating the more destructive fans from the rest of the protestors, acknowledging their peaceful methods.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The head of Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, said that the team’s focus was on football, and not the politics.
Despite their own fans upstaging their fixture against Liverpool, Solskjaer remains keen on ending the season well. Albeit, he is supportive of the protestors’ right to express their displeasure with their beloved club.
Solskjaer says Manchester United fans have a right to voice their anger about the European Super League.
“It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and that we communicate better,” Solskjaer said ahead of Sunday’s game, live on Sky Sports.
However, he insists his players will remain focused ahead of Sunday’s clash with rivals Liverpool.
Whenever Premier League reschedule the match, United can guarantee a top-four position with a victory.
And Solskjaer said: “My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team. I’ve been backed and had great support from the club and the owners and I’m sure I’ll get the backing again to go one step further.”
“I’m so happy that all the clubs agreed this shouldn’t be the way of moving forward,” he said about the failed Super League.
“When the protests are on, it is important they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful.
Former Manchester United star Gary Neville, who played for the club his entire career, sided with the fans.
The hallowed turf on which Neville enjoyed so much success was invaded by the protesting masses against the Glazer ownership. And he championed their decision to demand for 50+1 ownership as fans.
“It’s a warning to the owners of the football club that ultimately they (the fans) are not going to accept what they have done in the last couple of weeks,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“It’s not going to go away,” Neville warned the Glazers. “I don’t think they (the fans) trust the owners of this club, they don’t like them, they think they should leave.”
So, Neville discussed the long term implications of United fans’ continued protests with some foresight.
“Beyond today, it should be about reform and regulation and making sure they can’t do it (form a breakaway competition) again,” he said.
“Protesting is the right of every single person in this country, and we must retain that,” he hailed the practice of protest.
“However, beyond today it’s a case of making sure that across the country the fans unite to make sure there’s reform in English football,” he added.
“If anything, today has got to be a precursor to that, or else today will be a waste of time.”