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Explained: Why Man Utd fans are protesting during Red Devils vs Norwich

13:38 BST 16/04/2022
Man Utd Glazer protests 2021
Red Devils supporters are planning demonstrations against the club's owners for the rest of the campaign - but why are they doing this?

Manchester United supporters are planning further protests against the Glazer family, who own the Premier League club, amid ongoing unhappiness at the way things are run at Old Trafford.

It looks likely that resentment towards the Glazers will continue to ferment for the remainder of the season, starting in the fixture against Norwich on April 16.

So, why are Man Utd fans protesting and what form will the demonstrations take? GOAL takes a look...

Why are Man Utd fans protesting?

Man Utd fans have never taken to the Glazer family ever since they took charge of the club in 2005. However, a run without a major trophy currently extending to five years, plus the club's attempts to help found the failed European Super League, have brought matters to a head.

The Glazers bought the club through a leveraged buyout for around £790 million ($1.1 billion). The money for the buyout was funded by debt that they would pay off from the club’s future profits. Since then the club have already paid out over £1 billion (€1.4bn) in bank fees and dividends to the owners.

There have been sporadic protests for 17 years, however they have ramped up in recent seasons as Man Utd have failed to win a trophy since the Europa League in 2017, and turned nasty following the hugely unpopular ESL proposals.

How have Man Utd fans protested so far?

Those opposed to the Glazers are often seen at Old Trafford wearing green and gold - the club's original colours when founded as Newton Heath, before changing their name and their kit to red in 1902 - and carrying banners and placards with slogans criticising the Glazers.

Protests reached another level last season amid the ESL fallout, as the Premier League game against Liverpool was postponed after protestors stormed the Old Trafford pitch before the game.

Some protestors pushed down barriers to force their way into the ground and made their way onto the pitch ahead of one of the biggest games of the season. Chants of "we want Glazers out" could be heard as they stormed into the ground.​

Some fans attempted to get into the dressing rooms, as over a thousand supporters protested against the ownership.

A lengthy statement from Greater Manchester Police gave insight into the events of that afternoon.

They said: "Early this afternoon, groups of protestors began to gather at Old Trafford and separately at The Lowry Hotel, Salford, where the United players were staying. By late afternoon around 200 protestors had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1,000 at Old Trafford.

"Officers continued to closely monitor the situation, engaging with those present but as the groups grew in size; it became clear that many of those present were not intending to exercise their right to peaceful protest. Flares were let off and bottles thrown at officers.

"Protestors outside Old Trafford became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police before a group of about 100 forced entry to the ground, with some United staff having to lock themselves in rooms.

"Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew, with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses. Two officers have been injured, with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face requiring emergency hospital treatment.

"With the situation increasing in hostility, additional officers had to be deployed and officers had to be drawn in from neighbouring forces to assist Greater Manchester officers.

"Following discussion with the Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, a joint decision was made to postpone the match for safety reasons."

Will there be more protests?

Yes, but after the awful scenes before the Liverpool game last season, Man Utd supporter groups are pushing to ensure all further protests are non-violent and peaceful.

A group of supporters gathered outside the training ground on the Friday before the Norwich game, with some banners protesting the Glazers while others showed displeasure at the team's disappointing season - one placard read "Not fit to wear the shirt".

A club spokesperson said: “There was a small and peaceful protest outside the Carrington training ground today. We respect the opinions of fans and remain committed to strengthening our engagement with them.”

Now fans, led by the 1958 group, have vowed to continue with peaceful protests against the Glazers, with the intention being to remain outside the ground for 17 minutes when the home game with Norwich gets underway on Saturday.

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