What Next for Manchester United After Protest?

    03 May 2021 | Premier League | Opinion
    What Next for Manchester United After Protest?
    John B Hewitt / Shutterstock.com

    The biggest Storey of the weekend in the English Premier League was not what happened on the pitch but the events that occurred off the field of play. Fans around the world were looking forward to watching one of the biggest rivalries in English football as Manchester United were due to meet Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

    There had been plenty of noise regarding a potential protest against the owners of Manchester United throughout the week and the fans did not disappoint.

    Initially, it appeared as though there were only going to be a small number of supporters protesting against the Glazer family but it did not take long for the numbers to swell.

    What looked like a relatively peaceful protest ahead of the game soon changed into something else as the fans managed to enter Old Trafford and make their way onto the pitch.

    This immediately compromised the safety of the staff and players, especially with the threat of coronavirus. A group of fans were also situated around the hotel where the Manchester United players were staying ahead of the match. This prevented the team from travelling to the stadium and with so much uncertainty regarding the situation, it was decided to postpone the fixture.

    There were people of all ages, men and women participating in the protest and unfortunately there were some unsavoury incidents which are sure to be the main headline for some media outlets. However, the main goal of the protest by the Manchester United fans was achieved.

    By getting the game postponed, the fans have shown once again how they can have a greater control over English football than the owners first thought.

    There has always been an undercurrent of dislike towards the Glazer family from the Manchester United fans and even when they were winning trophies, the supporters were far from happy with their ownership.

    The planned European Super League has only served to stir the pot and the Manchester United fans have clearly decided enough is enough.

    Following the collapse of the European Super League, Manchester United co-chairman Joel Glazer said he accepted there was a need for greater communication with supporters.

    However, he failed to attend an emergency fans forum on Friday when the Manchester United Supporters Trust were amongst the signatories of a letter stating the fans did not trust or believe the owners.

    Therefore, this is simply not going to go away. It is believed the fans are ready to do the same again should the match against Liverpool be rearranged for Monday.

    The next step may be in the hands of the UK government. MUST said, "The government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club - and, more to the point, no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.

    "The government needs to reflect the views of ordinary people who see that now is the time to reclaim the people's game."

    One thing is for sure, the Manchester United fans will not be coming to Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness for any advice soon.