Thousands of Manchester United fans marched on Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer family ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash with rivals Liverpool.
Supporters are at their wits’ end with the controversial owners, and recently-formed group ‘The 1958’ led the latest demonstration against the Americans before kick-off.
Fans congregated at the Tollgate pub, about half a mile from the stadium, for the planned rally before the game.
‘United for $ale’ read a banner stretched across the front of the crowd that moved slowly and loudly towards Old Trafford, with more supporters joining en route.
That banner also bore an image of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire who last week gave supporters an extra rallying point when he expressed an interest in buying the club.
The message on another flag read, ‘We want our club back’, while smoke from flares filled the air and there was plenty of anti-Glazer chanting. A large police presence monitored the event, which reached Old Trafford about 30 minutes before the game.
With the march finishing near the United ‘Trinity’ statue outside the stadium, where hundreds of fans had already congregated, many Liverpool supporters were held back in a car park by police to avoid trouble.
The demonstration was largely peaceful although there were some isolated incidences of missiles being thrown over the wall separating the protesters from the Liverpool fans.
The problems were quickly quelled by police but, so long did the protest take to clear, that the visiting supporters were kept back until after the game kicked off.
Those Liverpool fans that had made it into the ground early, though, sang ‘Up the Glazers’ and brought out hundreds of masks of Avram Glazer, United’s executive co-chairman and director.
Otherwise, it was noticeably quiet inside the stadium as kick-off approached.
United did confirm the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro before the game and the Brazil international was paraded on the pitch to a mixture of applause and anti-Glazer chants.