Hours before Manchester United was scheduled to kickoff against Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Premier League today, large clusters of fans turned up outside the ground to protest the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. This is in continuation of the protests that were widespread across the Premier League after the announcement of the proposed European Super League just two weeks ago. The majority of United fans want the Glazer family to relinquish ownership of the club.
Unfortunately, at a certain point, a large number of protestors made there way through barricades outside of the entrances to Old Trafford and made their way inside the ground and onto the pitch. There were flares set off, chants that rung out in the backdrop of Sky Sport’s broadcasting area, and protestors rummaging around the pitch and in the stands. There were also reports that at least one fan had broken in to one of the dressing rooms, which caused significant concern for the Premier League’s coronavirus protocols.
Among the flurry of protests, many signs were seen that read “50+1,” which is the ownership rule that the Bundesliga employs to ensure that clubs are at least majority owned by the fans. Of course, there are grey areas to this with clubs like RB Leipzig and TSG Hoffenheim, who have circumvented the 50+1 rule in the way they’ve financed the clubs, but the general premise is to ensure the fans own heavy stakes in the clubs. Even within the Bundesliga, there have been ongoing debates as to whether or not getting rid of the rule would help some of the so-called “smaller” clubs get on more of a level, financial playing field to the biggest German clubs like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been heavily involved in those discussions in the past, but with everything that’s gone on with the heavy protests of the Super League across Europe, many Premier League fans are calling for the rule to be established in England.
Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford to protest against Glazers on pitch pic.twitter.com/FBWiOS5AJH— PA Dugout (@PAdugout) May 2, 2021
Updates coming in from in and around Old Trafford have not been aided by the fact that a number of the Premier League’s social media accounts have been participating in a weekend-long blackout campaign in an effort to bring awareness to online abuse.