MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United supporters stormed into the stadium and onto the pitch, delaying Sunday’s game against Liverpool as thousands of fans gathered outside Old Trafford to demand the Glazer family ownership sells the club.
Long-running anger against the American owners has boiled over after they were part of the failed attempt to take United into a European Super League.
“Get out of our club,” fans chanted as flares were set off. “We want Glazers out.”
The family, who also own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, have declined to engage with fans since buying United in 2005 in a leveraged takeover that loaded debt onto the club
Fans are currently unable to attend games due to the pandemic but they found a way into the stadium. They also climbed onto vantage points next to turnstile entrances
Supporters wore green-and-gold scarves and also set off flares in the colors of the club’s 1878 formation. More than 100 fans got inside the stadium and some could be seen from windows waving down to protesters. Corner flags were held aloft and one supporter was seen throwing a tripod from the interview zone.
Police on horseback later cleared protesting fans from outside the stadium, with glass bottles being thrown in brief clashes. Some fans moved back to a main road near the stadium with police forming a line to stop them returning.
If United loses Sunday’s game, Manchester City has won the Premier League title. United is the record 20-time English champion but hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2013.
Kickoff time was originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT) but has been delayed, with no announcement whether the game will still go ahead with neither team having arrived at the ground so far.
United and Liverpool were among six Premier League clubs that tried to form an exclusive European Super League along with three clubs each from Spain and Italy. Widespread opposition quickly ended the project, with all six English teams backing out within 48 hours of the announcement.
The “Big 6” clubs have been in damage control since, offering various forms of apologies and statements of regret, while fans long frustrated with billionaire owners have called for wholesale changes.
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