Seething Manchester United fans launched another protest against the unpopular Glazer family ahead of their clash with Chelsea on Thursday.
Sixth-placed United host the third-placed Blues at Old Trafford, with thousands of supporters coming together outside the stadium to rail against the Glazers, the club’s owners.
Fans chanted, set off red and green flares and held up anti-owner banners, with a 17-minute boycott of the match planned, representing the 17 years the American family has owned the club.
Manchester United fans have once again protested against the unpopular owners of the club
Thousands protested ahead of United’s Premier League match against Chelsea on Thursday
Fans chanted, held banners and set off red and green flares as police manned the protests
PICTURED: An aerial view of supporters descending on the famous old stadium on Thursday
The latest demonstration comes less than two weeks after thousands of fans marched on Old Trafford and boycotted the first 17 minutes of the last home game against Norwich City, which United won 3-2 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.
Organized by the fan group, The 1958, Thursday’s event is set to follow a similar format, with supporters meeting at the Tollgate pub, about a mile from the stadium, at 5.17pm.
A further protest is planned when United face Brentford on Monday May 2.
‘The Snake has been in PR overdrive to make all this’ Blow Over’. Do NOT be fooled, ‘a statement from The 1958 said on Wednesday night.
‘We need to go bigger, stronger and louder than before! Worldwide TV audience. This is our moment. ‘
There has been widespread distrust of the Glazers among a large section of the fan base since the leveraged buyout of the club in 2005.
Since then, fans have accused the owners of loading the club with debt, failing to invest, poor management and a disastrous transfer policy. United’s initial support for a European Super League increased the hostility
And The 1958 remains unimpressed by the owners’ commitments to listen to fans and invest in the stadium.
‘We now know that we have NO fan share scheme on the table,’ the group said. ‘The parasites WILL sell land to build a stadium loading more debt on the club. The government have agreed to an Independent Football Regulator, which is a step in the right direction. ‘
Red flares were lit and anti-Glazer chants sung as the fans made their way to the stadium from the Tollgate pub during the last protest ahead of the game against Norwich two weeks ago
Plenty of empty seats were visible as the two teams emerged for the Norwich game, with around 2,000 supporters opting to stay outside Old Trafford and protest against the Glazers
March organisers, The 1958, estimated the turnout for the march at between 3,000 and 5,000
Fans congregated under Old Trafford’s South Stand to boycott the start of the Norwich gam
The club has said it is’ continuing to work towards a robust and attractive proposal for fans’ and remains in negotiations with the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
With respect to the stadium, United are in discussion with planners over options for improvements or redevelopment to ‘improve the matchday experience for fans’.
Before the Norwich match. the crowd chanted ‘we want Glazer out’ and ‘Joel Glazer’s gonna die’ as they waved banners and set off red, green and gold smoke flares.
The last demonstration attracted more support than expected and according to police passed off peacefully, in contrast to the violent clashes following the Glazers’ attempts to sign United up to the breakaway Super League in May last year.
On that occasion, hundreds of fans clashed with police outside Old Trafford with some fans smashing their way inside the stadium, causing the behind-closed-doors fixture with rivals Liverpool to be postponed.
However, another lackluster season has given fresh impetus to the protest movement with some fans even going to United’s Carrington training ground earlier this month ..
Anti-Glazer sentiment has grown during a season of disappointment for the club, who have gone five years without winning a trophy despite plenty of expensive signings.
Fans claim the Glazer family’s focus is on driving up commercial and sponsorship revenues rather than building a winning team on the pitch.