Manchester United fans protested against the owners of the club – the Glazer family
Hundreds of Manchester United fans protested the club’s possession at Old Trafford in the hours leading up to their home game against Liverpool.
The game was postponed on May 2nd due to protests and similar scenes were expected ahead of Thursday’s game.
The United team arrived at around 2:00 p.m. CET to ensure access to the stadium.
Liverpool arrived on unmarked buses around 7:00 p.m. CET after the club’s official bus was blocked by protesters on a street near the stadium.
The official bus was on its way to pick up Liverpool’s squad when it was stopped, but the club used their other two coaches to bring the players down.
Greater Manchester police said two arrests had been made.
Manchester United players used beds brought into the stadium to rest before the game.
In response to pre-game protests, former club player and Sky Sports expert Gary Neville said, “Let’s be clear about what we’re seeing, which has effectively turned Manchester United into a prison.”
“It’s a devastating image for the club and its brand around the world.”
United will receive 10,000 fans at the stadium when they meet Fulham on Tuesday.
After this 4-2 loss to LiverpoolManager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Of course it bothered us a little so it wasn’t ideal, but we had to deal with it.”
“Hopefully it will be a good atmosphere when we let the fans in on Tuesday. We have waited a long time to let them in and are looking forward to enjoying the game together.”
Fans used smoke canisters outside of Old Trafford
United’s home game against Liverpool marked the first game in Premier League history to be postponed due to fan protests when it was canceled earlier this month.
That day, fans broke into the stadium and the police were injured by fans. One man was arrested this week.
The protests followed United’s decision to join five other Premier League clubs in the European Super League (ESL) before they all pulled out.
United Co-Chairman Joel Glazer has been since then written to the supporters of the club and is expected to meet with fans when the season ends.
Charlie Brooks, director of communications at Manchester United, told Sky Sports: “The owners absolutely care about the club. They have a long-term commitment.
“We are in a situation where everyone wants to see the fans, the employees want to see and the owners want to continue to see success – and we have to work towards that.”
“Police presence felt” – analysis
Mounted policemen were stationed in the stadium, where arrests were made before kick-off
BBC Sport soccer reporter Simon Stone:
The protests weren’t to the same extent as the postponed game, but they were still loud and maintained much of the anger from 11 days earlier.
The main difference this time around was the amount of police and security.
As fans pulled back from the front of the stadium, a line of police officers with vans behind them blocked the entrance to Old Trafford.
A couple of torches were thrown, more anti-glazer songs were sung – but just as it happened the top of Liverpool buses was visible as they drove through another entrance into the complex.
Manchester United are likely to see it as a success. Next Tuesday, however, 10,000 fans should be there for the last home game of the season against Fulham.
That will be a completely different test.
There was a considerable police presence around the stadiumThe fans came with banners and posters saying the club owners wanted to leave