Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells angry Man United fans to keep protests against the Glazers ‘peaceful’ with 10,000 expected to stage a demonstration before Liverpool match following European Super League collapse
- Manchester United fans are planning to a protest against the Glazers on Sunday
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urged them to keep it peaceful ahead of Liverpool clash
- Fans are furious at their owners’ involvement in botched Super League plans
- Up to 10,000 are expected to stage an anti-Glazer demonstration at Old Trafford
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Manchester United fans to keep their protests peaceful when they stage an anti-Glazer demonstration game before Sunday’s against Liverpool.
Up to 10,000 supporters are expected to gather outside the stadium to vent their feelings at the club’s American owners following the collapse of the European Super League.
Solskjaer insists that issues off the field will not distract his players after fans flew a ‘Glazer Out’ banner over Elland Road before last weekend’s game against Leeds.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Manchester United fans to keep their protests ‘peaceful’
Manchester United supporters have written a letter to the board addressing their disgust at their involvement at the botched European Super League that fell through earlier this month
But he called for the protesters to make their point without causing any trouble as the fallout from the ESL debacle shows no sign of dying down.
‘It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and we communicate better,’ said the United boss. ‘My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team.
‘I’ve been backed, I’ve had great support from the club and the owners and I’m sure I will get the backing again to go one step further.
Avram (left) and Joel (right) Glazer were heavily involved in the European Super League plans
As many as 10,000 fans will converge on Old Trafford in protest against the Glazers on Sunday
‘But I’m so happy all the clubs have agreed that this shouldn’t be the way of moving forward. Then again, when the protests are on it’s important they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful.’
Solskjaer believes that Thursday’s 6-2 win over AS Roma in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final shows that his team are concentrating fully on their football.
‘The players are focused on the game and nothing else,’ he added. ‘They’ve handled difficult situations before. Of course, it was a strange week before the Leeds game after the Super League announcement.
‘But I’ve got to say, I’m not worried one second that our mind is not on the football when it happens. I think you saw here in the semi that the players are fully focused on performing.’
Manchester United fans flew an ant-Glazer banner above their league match on Sunday
United fans recently released a statement saying the Glazers ‘are not welcome in Manchester’ and their ‘time is up’ and have created a five-point plan for the club’s board
Ed Woodward has already stepped down from the club and fans want the Glazers to follow suit
Manchester United fans create five-point plan for club’s board
1. Willingly and openly engage and promote the government initiated fan-led review of football and use this as an opportunity to rebalance the current ownership structure in the favour of supporters and not approach this review defensively to fight for the status quo.
2. Appoint independent directors to the board whose sole purpose is to protect the interest of the club as a football club, not its shareholders and their focus on profits over results.
3. Work with the Manchester United Supporters Trust and supporters more broadly to put in place a share scheme that is accessible to all and that has shares with the same voting rights as those held by the Glazer family.
4. Commit to full consultation with season ticket holders on any significant changes to the future of our club, including the competitions we play in.
5. Provide a commitment by Joel Glazer that any costs incurred in relation to the creation of, or withdrawal from, the European Super League will be funded solely by the Glazer family and not by the club itself. We note that the Kroenke family have already made this commitment to Arsenal fans.’
United are on the verge of clinching a Champions League place which Solskjaer insists is vital to the club even if they can’t catch Manchester City in the title race.
‘I think football has become this way,’ he said. ‘One, you fight to win the Premier League, that’s the bread and butter, the dream.
‘That’s what everyone wants but there’s almost like another trophy – second, third and fourth – because Champions League is such a massive tournament to be in.
‘You play against the best and there are loads of financial gains by being there. Last season when we were so far behind, our aim was to get into the top-four. Sometimes top-four isn’t even secure.
‘Arsenal and Chelsea can still win respective tournaments and not be top-four so we’ve just got to make sure we are doing our job and getting into the Champions League ourselves.’
United could also deliver a blow to Liverpool’s top-four hopes, but Solskjaer was reluctant to be drawn on the issue of denying their bitter rivals.
‘We’re just thinking about winning ourselves,’ he said. ‘Whatever that does to Liverpool cannot be of our concern.
‘Throughout the season you have games you look forward to. This Liverpool game at home is one of the biggest games of the season, it doesn’t matter if we’re first or second or third or fourth. No matter what this is a massive, massive game.
‘We know what they’ve done the last three or four seasons. They’ve been top of the league, they’ve won the Champions League and they’ve had some amazing seasons.
‘That’s the challenge for us, to have that consistency now that we’ve moved up the table and that we also challenge City so that they feel that they still need to win a few games.’
Solskjaer insisted problems off the pitch will not distract his players ahead of Sunday’s clash
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