This season has been one of the invasion of training centers and stadiums. After the intrusion of Marseille supporrters at the Commanderie last January, it is now Manchester United fans who are talking about them. They too invaded the Red Devils training center a few days ago, but it was the events of Sunday that put England in turmoil. Indeed, yesterday, a few hours before kick-off, a thousand people went to Old Trafford to demonstrate against the Glazer family, who own the Mancunian club, and ask them to sell. The attempt to create the European Super League is the straw that broke the camel’s back for the supporters, who have obviously decided to do everything to push the Glazers to the limit. Left, for a hundred of them, to enter the stadium, to enter the field and degrade the stands, by throwing smoke for example.
This coup by Mancunian fans is widely reacting to English newspapers, in a country traumatized by hooligans in a now distant past and therefore particularly attentive to this kind of excesses. The behavior of those who entered the lawn is also pointed out by a majority of people, even if the reason for their anger is considered acceptable. Just look at the debate that took place on Skysports, broadcaster of the meeting, between the various consultants present at Old Trafford and targeted by jets of smoke. Former of the house, flagship consultant, Gary Neville has chosen his side, that of the supporters. And he destroyed the management of the club by the Glazers.
Neville’s charge against the Glazers
“If you think about the club they chose in 2004, it had the best stadium in the country, one of the best in Europe, it had the best training ground in this country, and probably one of the best from Europe. He had a team that regularly qualified for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the Champions League and who won the Premier League every season or every two years. If you look at the club now, this stadium, I know it looks great from here, but if you go backstage it’s rusty and rotten. If you look at the training ground, it’s probably not even in the top five for this country. The club haven’t played in a Champions League semi-final for 10 years. We haven’t won a league here at Manchester United for eight years. The area around the stadium is underdeveloped, sleepy, and abandoned as all the other clubs seem to be developing the facilities and the fan experience ”, tackled the former right-back.
For him, the anger of the fans was completely legitimate after the Super League humiliation. “We can’t forget what they did two weeks ago, which was really dangerous for English football. They tried to withdraw and create a closed league, which would have created a famine in this country for all other football clubs ”, he recalled, before calling for the union of all fans. “All football fans should unite today behind what Manchester United fans have done today because what happened two weeks ago was really dangerous for English football”. For Neville, it’s time for the Glazers to sell the club. Roy Keane, another glorious elder, echoed the same sentiment, welcoming the popular uprising.
“Everything has piled up over the last few years: disappointing communication, things going on behind the scenes, ticket prices or whatever. The management of the club has not been good enough. When the supporters look at the owners, they see it’s all about making money. I hope the Man Utd owners say ‘these fans are extremely serious’ and that other things will happen. This is just the start for United fans, I guarantee that. What will happen in the next home game, will it be the same? This is just the start for United fans and their plan is for United owners to give up and sell the club ”, he warned. This is where Graeme Souness, a former player and coach of Liverpool, intervened, who clearly qualified these strong opinions about the current management of the club.
“They risked something to buy Manchester United. Since then, they’ve given successive managers fortunes to spend in the marketplace, and it wasn’t until Ferguson quit that success stopped. I think that irritates the supporters and they [les Glazer] have become the focal point of anger. I think it’s a bit misguided. With what happened with the Super League, it certainly makes their aggressiveness and unhappiness with them worse. But I wouldn’t say the lack of success is due to the Glazers. “ And Souness did not forget to go after those who targeted the studio of Skysports installed in the stadium. “Someone threw a bottle of beer here. If it hits you in the wrong place, you can be killed! This smoke could also have marked someone for life … We are sitting here saying that they are right to protest and some idiot in the village could have killed someone here today. “