Manchester United’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon has been delayed after some individuals broke into the stadium and entered the pitch, with the team coach’s departure from the Lowry hotel in the city centre put back.
At just past 2pm about 200 individuals are believed to have made their way into the stadium, some carrying flares, with a corner flag being taken from the pitch and paraded outside. Images and videos of the protest also showed one person hanging off the crossbar of a goal. It is believed those who gained access to the ground did so via the Munich Tunnel, after pushing down barriers, despite the attempts of security guards to prevent that happening. A large number of fans ran back out of the stadium complex at around 2.20pm.
Supporter unrest at the Glazers’ ownership has been further heightened after the club’s planned membership of the now defunct European Super League. The United co-owner Joel Glazer, who was named the ESL vice-chairman when the announcement was made, apologised to the fans in an open letter after they withdrew from the project.
However, that apology seems to have been rejected by the club’s supporter base, with a group of around 20 fans having also gained access to United’s Carrington training base last month. “This is the consequence of the owners of Manchester United’s actions two weeks ago,” said former United defender Gary Neville on Sky Sports. “There’s a general distrust and dislike of the owners, but people weren’t protesting before this happened. Generally, the Glazer family along with a number of other owners of football clubs in this country were conniving and scheming behind everyone’s back to walk away with the crown jewels. Today we’ve seen people protest at that.”