Manchester United fans protest for Liverpool match: Updates, latest news, and reaction as supporters make voices heard – Sporting News - STRATEGIES TO EARN MONEY

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Manchester United fans protest for Liverpool match: Updates, latest news, and reaction as supporters make voices heard – Sporting News

As Manchester United continue to flounder at the start of the 2022/23 Premier League season, fans are growing increasingly frustrated with how the club has been managed over the last decade.

During the past two weeks under new manager Erik ten Hag, the Red Devils lost their first two matches of the Premier League season for the first time since 1992. It’s the latest low point for United, who have fallen from their perch as the league’s most dominant and powerful club, a reputation built under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fans attribute the club’s downfall largely to the Glazer family, the club’s American owners who acquired the Red Devils over 15 years ago and remain polarizing figures amongst the supporters.

Ahead of the rivalry match against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday, murmurs of various fan protests have grown louder as fans look to make their voices heard about club ownership. Marches, banners, and walkouts have been discussed on social media and other avenues as fans hope to put pressure on the club to make changes, including potentially at the ownership level.

MORE: Why Glazer family is to blame for Man United downfall

Man United fans protest: Latest updates from Old Trafford

Here’s a summary of the known plans for protests around the match that will close out Matchweek 3 of the Premier League season.

March to Old Trafford planned before Liverpool match

The most concrete plans are focused on a march to Old Trafford before the match.

This would not be the first time the supporters have voiced their displeasure outside the grounds, as supporter groups have organized pre-match marches on numerous previous occasions.

A boisterous new supporters group called The 1958 have organized the most publicized march that will reportedly begin at 7:30 p.m. local time, which is a half-hour before the match start.

Those fans gathered in full force and marched to the stadium prior to the match against Liverpool.

News of the protests caused security at Old Trafford to be significantly increased as the police presence at the ground was noticeable.

While the protesters marched to Old Trafford, they took time to hurl beer cans at a coach bus passing by. While the crowd chanted, “murderers” at the bus, it’s hard to tell who exactly they thought they were assaulting. It turns out, they may have been throwing beer cans and chanting at a group of children heading to Old Trafford for the match.

Once the group reached the ground, they had difficulties getting inside, as the increased police presence caused confusion and created a backlog.

Meanwhile, reporters have gone through the protests interviewing fans. One of those reporters is former Man United midfielder Gary Neville who met with protesting fans at various points around Old Trafford.

Supporters split on in-game walkout

While some supporters were hoping to plan a walkout from the match to garner the most media attention, opinions appear divided on whether that is the best course of action.

An online campaign using the Twitter hashtag #EmptyOldTrafford has been gaining traction to spread word of the potential walkout.

However, the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has expressed concerns regarding a walkout.

The 1958, which organized the aforementioned pre-match march, had previously clashed with the MUST regarding the direction and aggressiveness of past protests, but the two groups appear to have put past differences behind them with regards to today’s events.

Despite the hesitations from some, it does appear that other fans are standing behind a walkout. UK radio outlet TalkSPORT has interviewed fans who have stated their intention to leave the ground during the match.

There are also reports that the #EmptyOldTrafford campaign is mostly being promoted by individuals on social media, hoping to create media noise around an event that will ultimately not be carried out. According to Professor Simon Chadwick of Sport and Geopolitical Economy at the SKEMA Business School in Paris, there is a heavy concentration of social media users from Africa, India, and the United States using the push to spread discord.

Man United cancel pre-match meeting at hotel for security concerns

While the official Man United supporters groups are stressing that protests must remain peaceful to most effectively spread the message, there are still some lingering safety concerns regarding the pre-match events.

As a result, Manchester United reportedly cancelled a pre-match meeting for the squad at the team hotel ahead of the match due to security concerns. The Manchester Evening News reported that United boss Erik ten Hag called off the 1 p.m. local time meeting due to a small congregation of fans around the team hotel.

The report states that the squad usually stays at The Lowry in Salford before matches, but that they did not do so before the season-opening match against Brighton, instead meeting at Old Trafford earlier than usual the day of the match. The club could do so again today after calling off the hotel meeting.

Could Manchester United vs Liverpool be postponed?

It’s at this point unlikely that the match against Liverpool will be called off, pending the nature of the protests outside the stadium.

Supporter groups planning protests have repeatedly pleaded with fans to demonstrate in a peaceful manner, believing that violence could be spun by ownership and used against them. The 1958 released an entire post on their website reiterating the group’s stance against flares, reminding fans that the club could prosecute those who attempt to bring them into the ground.

Jurgen Klopp wants points to Liverpool if match cannot go on

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is aware of the planned protests, and was asked about the possibility of the match being delayed or postponed.

Klopp said he believes if the match is affected in any way, Liverpool should be awarded all three points by default.

“I really hope it will not happen, but if it does happen I think we should get the points,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference on Sunday.

“We have nothing to do with the situation. If that happens, and the supporters want the game to be not happening, then we cannot just rearrange the game again and fit it in somewhere at an incredibly busy time. I don’t think and I really hope this will not happen.

“I have no idea what could happen,” Klopp continued, “I don’t think about it. People tell us things will be fine so we will go there, play the game hopefully and go home. But if in a situation like this, always the other team should get the points because they have nothing to do with it. They have prepared the game.”

Erik ten Hag backs Man United owners, calls for unity amongst supporters

United manager Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, has pushed for unity among the supporters to back the Glazer family.

The Dutchman, only hired this past summer, is not about to turn against his new bosses. He also said he’s not been at the club long enough to understand the long-term history.

“I can only say the owners want to win and we want the fans behind the club,” Ten Hag said during his pre-match press conference. “I am not that long in the club to see all the background but we have to fight together and be unified.”

Supporter protests against Glazers

The Glazer family have been a hot topic for Manchester United supporters over the last five to 10 years.

After acquiring a controlling stake in the club over the course of a two-year period between 2003 and 2005, the Glazers have notoriously used the club for financial gain, with supporters believing that it has come at the expense of trophies. 

Famously mortgaging the club’s assets during their takeover, the Glazers have been criticized for mismanagement, while the club has fallen from its previously great heights in both the Premier League and Europe.

Fans have grown increasingly frustrated and have voiced their displeasure for years now. During a Premier League fixture against Liverpool in May 2021, being played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans made their way into the ground and forced the match to be postponed. That protest came during the European Super League push, giving fans another reason to be angry with ownership.

MORE: Why Glazer family is blamed for Man United downfall

Casemiro unveiled before match

An important event organized by the club could keep fans in their seats at Old Trafford amid calls for protests or a walkout.

According to Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, midfield signing Casemiro is set to be unveiled at the match against Liverpool, with the former Real Madrid star signing for Manchester United over the weekend.

Some fans on social media have accused the club of intentionally scheduling the unveiling to prevent a walkout, claiming that the Brazilian deserves his own event rather than tying it to a Premier League fixture.

MORE: Why Casemiro is the right player at the wrong time for Man United

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