Man Utd: Fans protest against Glazers outside Old Trafford
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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has predicted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reaction to today’s protests at Old Trafford. Fans have flocked to the famous stadium to protest about the Glazers’ handling of the club. And they’ve consequently forced today’s Premier League clash with Liverpool to be delayed.
Manchester United fans today took to the field at Old Trafford, getting onto the playing surface where they protested over the Glazers.
It’s forced today’s match against Liverpool to be delayed, with the Premier League expected to imminently post an update.
And Neville, speaking to Sky Sports, believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ‘have to get the balance right’ whenever he addresses the incident.
“I think two different things: one will be how he prepares his team for the game later on because he’s a manager and a professional,” he said.
“The second part will be about the fans being there, hoping things go as peacefully as possible and hoping there’s no trouble, but also understanding that the fans need a voice.
“Obviously Ole has been at the club a long time and he needs to get that balance right in terms of being a hero with the fans and also making sure he gets his team right for this evening.”
He then added: “Look, I’ve never thought they were brilliant owners but I have seen in football that there are worse owners than the Glazer family.
“However, I think all football fans should unite today behind what Manchester United fans have done because honestly, what they did two weeks ago was really dangerous for English football, we must not forget that.
“They tried to create a famine two weeks ago in English football, in Dutch football, in German football, in French football, all over Europe.
“Those 15 clubs would have walked away from their leagues with their money and basically destroyed the ethos of the pyramid of relegation and promotion in English football, so that’s number one.
“It’s unforgivable what they did as a family two weeks ago. I get Graeme’s point around them paying themselves dividends. We could go around the chippy tomorrow, make a bid, they could sell it, we own a chippy and the local public might not be happy with the new chips they’re getting, I get that principle of a free market.
“However, the Glazer family two weeks ago tried to implement something that would have damaged every single community in this country that has football at the heart of it.
“That’s why they’re dangerous – Perez is dangerous, Laporta, Agnelli are all dangerous to the concept of equal opportunity and fair play.
“Today there is anger, I would hope tomorrow it switches to mobilisation and reform, regulation and behind a fan-led review.
“I might be a bit naive here, but when I spoke two weeks ago about these football clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool, they should act like the Grandfather of English football, demonstrating compassion, spreading their wealth through the family, their experience and being fair.
“They haven’t done, they’ve demonstrated self-greed and tried to walk away with all the money themselves and left their family struggling below.
“That is not what you do at this football club or at Liverpool Football Club, so whether the Glazer family has been good or bad, what happened two weeks ago is not acceptable and an apology is not good enough.
“Joel Glazer saying he wants to rebuild the trust with the fans of this club, he never had the trust, he’s never spoken to them, he’s never said a word.
“Today, we can be angry, the game may not go ahead, they’ve protested peacefully and we have to accept that you’re allowed to protest in this country and it’s every person’s right.
“But tomorrow is about form and regulation because there are six or seven people within English football that have it under their control and that control has to be taken away from them.”
Graeme Souness, meanwhile, defended the Glazers.
“I don’t think it will (have an impact). The Glazers, since Fergie retired, have given successive managers over a billion pound to spend,” he said.
“I think it’s £719million net spend over the eight years. I think it’s born out of United not being top dogs as much as what happened last week, I think that’s another excuse to have a go at them.
“These are serious, serious business people, I don’t think this will impact on their thoughts. I really don’t.
“We live in a country where you can demonstrate, you can vent your feelings, you’re allowed to do it, but I still don’t see it impacting on the Glazers one little bit.
“If you think you can bring serious pressure to serious business people who live 3,000 miles away, across the Atlantic, that it will drive them to accept a discounted offer for Manchester United, that will not happen.
“They’ve had to put collateral in, you don’t just go to the bank and say I want to buy Manchester United, I’ll need £500million or however much it costs to buy, without committing some sort of collateral.
“They’ve risked things to buy Manchester United, since then, they’ve given successive managers fortunes to spend.
“It’s only since Fergie stopped that the success has stopped and I think that irritates supporters and they have become the focus of their anger. I think it’s slightly misdirected.”
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