Two police officers have been injured, one seriously, after a major security breach at Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium with hundreds of fans invading the pitch to protest against the club’s American owners. It meant one of the biggest games of the season against Liverpool had to be called off the first time ever a Premier League match has been postponed due to the behavior of fans outside the grounds. Supporters faced off against the police, claiming the Glazer family, which bought the club in 2005, has piled up debts and betrayed the fans by signing up to the now-defunct European Super League.
Our sports correspondent Joe Wilson reports on the dramatic scenes at Old Trafford, the concourse outside Old Trafford where protesters were expected to congregate to voice their continued opposition to the ownership of Manchester United by the Glazer family. Some protesters soon decided to go further and ultimately onto the pitch itself. This was the scene at one of the most famous football grounds in the world that revered Manchester United pitch the place of stirring feats of football occupy. As clashes continued, police-reported two injuries to officers, one slashed in the face by a broken bottle.
Well, they stayed there was a much due to being played here, a match with direct implications for the outcome of the Premier League supposed to happen here with protest continue inside Old Trafford and also at the Manchester United Team Hotel. There was no way the game itself against Liverpool could be played today. The Reds were stopped. So will it change anything?
The direct response from the Premier League was a statement. Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification. It read well. For six years, supporters have opposed the Glazers. For six years, they’ve believed the family is taking money out of their club. Fan power has been reignited by recent opposition to the European Super League. This anger runs deeper. Does it take something extreme for the Glazers just to notice the pitch?
Invaders widely condemned don’t represent all Manchester United supporters. But the landscape of English football has changed. And these are the images viewed across the Premier League’s global marketplace.