MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Thousands of Manchester United fans angry at the direction of the club under its American owners took part in a protest before Monday’s Premier League game against Liverpool.
Supporters chanted anti-Glazer family slogans – “We want the Glazers out” – and held up banners calling for Americans to sell the United States as they lined the club’s floor an hour before kick-off. Walked from a pub near Trafford Stadium. In English football, which United won 2-1 for the first points of the season.
Many supporters around the ground wore green and gold scarves – the colors of the club’s 1878 formation – and some even listened. There appeared to be a strong police presence on Sir Matt Busby Way at the front entrance to the stadium.
Players from both teams, including United’s Cristiano Ronaldo, took to the field before the demonstration began.
Discontent has risen following United’s poor start to the season, which saw the team lose both of their games – 2-1 at home to Brighton and a 4-0 humiliation at Brentford.
The target of much of the ire has been the Glazer family, who bought United in 2005 in a leveraged takeover that loaded debt onto a club that previously had none. Critics say the Glazers, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have failed to invest enough of their money in the squad or facilities and have presided over years of failure by England’s biggest team.
Interest, debt and dividend payments to Glazer are estimated to cost more than 1 billion US pounds.
“They are destroying the history, traditions and culture of our great club and (we) will no longer stand by our club and see our club deteriorate,” said 1958, a group of fans who organized Monday’s protest. and
The dispute over the property, which has raged since the 2005 takeover, erupted in May last year when a home league game against Liverpool was called off after the stadium – empty due to pandemic restrictions – was abandoned before the game. Attacked and blocked thousands of other supporters. Access to Old Trafford. Two policemen were injured in the clash with fans.
The protest was sparked by the club’s involvement in the failed European Super League, which collapsed amid condemnation from fans and the UK government.
The Glazers promised to rebuild trust with United fans in the wake of the rally but there is little evidence of that. Joel Glazer, a co-chairman, met with United fans in person in June 2021 and expressed his intention to invest significantly in all aspects of the club and strengthen fan representation in the decision-making process. explained
Last week, Jim Ratcliffe, the chemical group’s majority shareholder and one of Britain’s richest men, expressed interest in buying the US, after Elon Musk tweeted – jokingly, as it turned out – that He wants to do the same.
The latest protest seemed to pass without major incident, although some items were thrown at the Liverpool team bus as it arrived at Old Trafford.
United won their last record 20 English league titles in 2013, the year manager Alex Ferguson retired. In recent years, the United States’ two biggest rivals, Manchester City and Liverpool, have dominated the domestic game.
United have not won a major trophy in five seasons, their worst run since the early 1980s, despite the club having spent $1.5 billion on players since 2013.
United’s latest signing, Brazil midfielder Casemiro, arrived at Old Trafford ahead of Monday’s Liverpool game and was introduced to fans on the pitch before kick-off as his transfer was confirmed by the club. He is reportedly worth $60 million, with the club trying to bring in players in the final days of the transfer window.
This season has also started badly, under Erik ten Hague, his fifth manager since Ferguson. There are already questions about the Dutch coach’s tactics and team selection.
The future of star striker Ronaldo is also uncertain after he was forced to leave during the off-season as United failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Ronaldo was dropped to the bench against Liverpool alongside club captain Harry Maguire.
The changes confirmed, with United putting in a performance of intensity and sealing the win thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.