MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester United supporters stormed into the stadium and field, delaying Sunday’s game against Liverpool as thousands of fans gathered outside Old Trafford to demand that the Glazer family property sell the club.
Long-running anger against the American owners has boiled over after they were part of the failed bid to bring United into a European Super League.
“Get out of our club,” the fans shouted as the torches were fired. “We want Glazers out.”
The family, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have declined to engage with fans since they bought United in 2005 through a leveraged acquisition that took the club into debt.
Fans are currently unable to attend games due to the pandemic, but they have found their way to the stadium. They also climbed vantage points next to turnstile entrances
Supporters wore green-and-gold scarves and also displayed torches in the colors of the club’s 1878 formation. Over 100 fans entered the stadium and some could be seen through windows waving at protesters. Corner flags were held up and a supporter threw a tripod out of the interview area.
Police on horseback later removed protesting fans from outside the stadium, throwing glass bottles in short collisions. Some fans moved back to a main road near the stadium where the police lined up to stop them from returning.
If United lose Sunday’s game, Manchester City will have won the Premier League title. United is the record 20-time English champion, but has not won the trophy since 2013.
The start time was originally scheduled for 4:30 pm local time (1530 GMT), but has been postponed with no announcement as to whether the match will continue without either team having arrived on the ground so far.
United and Liverpool were among six Premier League clubs trying to form an exclusive European Super League, along with three clubs from Spain and Italy. Widespread opposition quickly ended the project, with all six England teams withdrawing within 48 hours of the announcement.
The “Big 6” clubs have since kept the damage under control, offering various forms of apology and regret, while fans long frustrated by billionaire owners have called for widespread changes.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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