Aug 22, 2022 American Press Before Monday’s Premier League match against Liverpool, a sizable contingent of Manchester United supporters protested against the path the club has taken under its American owners.
An hour before the start of one of the biggest games in English football, over 10,000 fans marched to Old Trafford and yelled against the Glazer family, “We want Glazers out,” while carrying banners urging the Americans to sell United.
– Everything you need to know about Casemiro joining Man United on ESPN: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, and more
At the entrance to the stadium’s forecourt on Sir Matt Busby Way, there seemed to be a considerable police presence.
Before the demonstration began, both teams’ players came at the stadium, but even after the game began, a sizable contingent of fans continued to demonstrate as Man United defeated Liverpool to earn their first victory of the year.
After United’s mediocre start to the season, which included losses to Brighton at home by a score of 2-1 and Brentford by a score of 4-0, discontent has skyrocketed.
The Glazer family, who acquired United in 2005 through a leveraged buyout that added debt to a team that had none before, is the object of the majority of the resentment. The Glazers, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have come under fire for not investing enough of their own money in the team or the facilities and for allowing England’s top team to struggle for years.
United spent more than $1 billion on dividends to the Glazers, debt service, and interest payments.
The 1958, a supporter organization that organized Monday’s protest, claimed that “they are destroying the history, traditions, and culture of our great club” and that “we” would no longer “stand by and watch our club waste away.”
A home league game against Liverpool had to be postponed in May of last year after the stadium — which was empty due to pandemic restrictions — was stormed before the game and thousands more supporters blocked access into Old Trafford. Dissent toward the ownership, which had been simmering since the 2005 takeover, had been building since then. Conflicts with supporters led to the injuries of two police officers.
The club’s participation in the failed European Super League breakaway, which collapsed under a tsunami of criticism from supporters and the British government, served as the catalyst for that protest.
After that protest, the Glazers promised to mend fences with United supporters, but there hasn’t been much proof of that. A co-chairman named Joel Glazer personally addressed United supporters in June 2021, outlining his plans to make significant investments in all facets of the team and improve fan representation in the decision-making process.
Jim Ratcliffe, one of the wealthiest individuals in Britain and the biggest shareholder of the chemical company Ineos, indicated interest in purchasing United last week, shortly after Elon Musk tweeted — ironically — that he wanted to do the same.
Although some objects were hurled at Liverpool’s squad bus as it approached Old Trafford, the most recent protest seemed to go off without much of a fuss.
In 2013, the year Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as manager, United won the last of their record 20 English league championships. Manchester City and Liverpool, two of United’s main rivals, have recently dominated the domestic game.
Despite spending $1.5 billion on players since 2013, United hasn’t won a major title in five seasons, its worst streak since the early 1980s.
Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, United’s newest acquisition, arrived at Old Trafford early on Monday in advance of the Liverpool game. With United rushing to sign players in the last days of the transfer window, he will allegedly cost the club a $60 million transfer fee.
Erik ten Hag, their fifth manager since Ferguson, has had a poor start to this season. Since the Dutch coach came over after leaving Ajax Amsterdam earlier in the year, there are already concerns about his tactics and team selection.
Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is also up in the air as he pushed for a transfer throughout the summer because United failed to make the Champions League.
In the match against Liverpool, Ronaldo and team captain Harry Maguire were benched.