The Premier League fixture of Manchester United against Liverpool was postponed last weekend as fans protested at Old Trafford. The Red Devils fans had barged into the stadium as they were protesting against the owners of the club, the Glazers.
Many fans had managed to reach the pitch of the stadium but later on the police intervened. The match between Manchester United and the Reds will be rescheduled by the Premier League in due course.
The reason behind the protests by Manchester United fans
The Red Devils fans are not happy with the way the Glazer family is running the football club. In recent years, the owners have come under fire from former players and fans over how the club is administered. There have been a lot of issues at the club like recruitment, wages of players, the appointment of managers, etc. However often everything has come down to the owners.
The final nail in the coffin for Manchester United fans was the Super League drama. The Red Devils were a part of it and the fans were very much against it. They even demanded that the 50+1 rule be applied to English clubs as well. The Glazers responded through United chief Joel Glazer who apologized to fans by writing an open letter.
Glazers should sell Manchester United: Gary Neville
Former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville has been a vocal critic of the Glazers. He is currently a pundit for Sky Sports where he often expresses his views. According to him, the protests are a result of Glazer’s involvement in the Super League and that the owners are struggling to keep up with the finances of the club.
He said “This is a consequence of the Manchester United owners’ actions two weeks ago. There is a general distrust and dislike of the owners, but they weren’t protesting two or three weeks ago. The Glazer family are struggling to meet the financial requirements at this club and the fans are saying that their time is up.”
The former club captain also provided a potential solution to the problem for the Glazers. He argued that the Glazers will make big money if they decide to sell the club now. Neville believes it will be an honourable thing to do.
Manchester United have been in a decline: Neville
The Sky Sports pundit argued that when the Glazers bought the club in 2004, it was one of the best clubs in Europe. They were regularly winning trophies and playing semi-finals and finals of the Champions League. Even their stadium and facilities were one of the best in the world at that point in time. However, now things haven’t improved under the Glazers. Behind the scenes, the quality of the stadium is not the same. The Red Devils are struggling to play for the Champions League, reaching the finals is a long way. They haven’t won a league title in eight years. The facilities around the stadium are not that good anymore.
He said “If you think about the club they picked up in 2004, it had the best stadium in the country, one of the best in Europe, it had the best training ground in this country, and probably one of the best in Europe. It had a team that was consistently getting to Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals regularly and winning the league every season or every other season.
The alternative view:
Though things haven’t been good for Manchester United but there is some ray of hope. This season they are second in the table and they will comfortably qualify for the Champions League. Not only this they have a very good chance of winning the Europa League as well. Even in difficult times, Glazers have backed Ole Gunnar Solskjær. There is no doubt that the Glazers have made mistakes, however, there is no guarantee that the news owners will make the club better. Manchester United are showing signs of recovery at this moment. Also as for the protest, it can’t be justified in any way. Yes, there is anger amongst the supports, however, that does not give them the right to stop a game.
It has been argued that three points be handed over to Liverpool because of the behaviour of Manchester United fans. Such events set up dangerous precedents and to put all the blame on the Glazers is not correct. Perhaps in the future fans of other clubs can use this mob mentality to protest. People like Gary Neville who have such power and platform to speak should also question the erratic behaviour of the fans.
12th Man Opinion
Only a minority of fans would perhaps want the Glazers to continue at the club. However, overall the fans would want more involvement in the dealings of the club if new owners come in. There will be no point if the new owners are just a different version of the Glazers.