Thousands of Manchester United supporters staged a protest against the team’s owners outside Old Trafford before their Premier League clash with Norwich City on Saturday, demanding that the Glazer family “get out of the club”.
Fans wielding a banner that proclaimed “we want our club back, some things are worth fighting for” marched in unison down Sir Matt Busby Way outside the stadium, before clogging up the Munich Tunnel, underneath the South Stand.
They lit flares and sang anti-Glazer songs, which led to turnstiles being closed for fear of a repeat of last May when supporters broke into the stadium and gathered on the pitch, forcing a Premier League match with Liverpool to be postponed.
Many fans waited outside the stadium, singing their anti-Glazer songs until the 17th minute before entering – a minute’s protest for every year the Glazer family have owned the club.
United were bought by the American Glazer family for 790 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in 2005. Although the club have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2012, the Glazers retain majority ownership.
The anti-Glazer movement gained momentum after United were involved in a failed attempt to form a breakaway European Super League last year.
It has continued as the team’s struggles on the pitch have continued. Come the end of the season, it will be five years without a trophy for United, and nine since their last league triumph.
“We are working hard to create the conditions for renewed success on the pitch, while strengthening our engagement with fans,” a United spokesperson said in a statement on the protests.
“We respect the right of fans to voice their opinions peacefully and we will continue to listen to them, with the aim of working together to get the club back to where we all want it to be: competing for trophies.”