IAN LADYMAN: The Glazers are not listening and never will… it is WRETCHED that it’s come to this

IAN LADYMAN: The Glazers are not listening and never will… It’s WRETCHED that the behaviour of our top clubs has proved so abysmal that those who have waited so calmly to be allowed back in to stadia have finally ran out of patience

  • Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool was postponed on Sunday afternoon 
  • Supporters stormed the ground as the scenes turned ugly at Old Trafford 
  • The whole demonstration was a depressing affair, but the Glazers won’t listen  

For those familiar with the structural decline of Old Trafford during the years of Glazer ownership, the ease with which supporters entered Manchester United’s stadium will not have been a surprise. 

There have been holes in the roof of the Main Stand for years. Maybe the doors no longer have locks either.

What a sad spectacle, nevertheless.

The Glazers never plan on listening to Manchester United fans, they never have before now

The Glazers never plan on listening to Manchester United fans, they never have before now 

Supporters forced United's clash with Liverpool to be called-off on Sunday with a protest

Supporters forced United’s clash with Liverpool to be called-off on Sunday with a protest 

Towards the end of a season played without fans, this was something new, something even more depressing. A marquee game due to be played without fans called off because of the way top flight football has taken to treating its fans.

Wherever next? Onwards towards something better we can only hope.

United’s fans had every right to stage this protest and they have had some practice. The owners have been in situ for sixteen years now yet the days of the ‘Green and Gold’ demonstrations that marked the Glazers’ early tenure do not seem very long ago.

It will not get them anywhere. The Glazers are not listening. They never were and never will.

United fans stormed the Old Trafford pitch, overwhelming security to get their voices heard

United fans stormed the Old Trafford pitch, overwhelming security to get their voices heard 

Police struggled to get the situation under control after demonstrators broke into the ground

Police struggled to get the situation under control after demonstrators broke into the ground 

But the rank and file United fans know this. They are not stupid. A protest does not lose validity just because it does not bring about change. There is such a thing as protest for protest’s sake.

It was demoralising to observe, nonetheless. Despite what some may claim, this Covid-19 infected football season has been a hard watch. The sooner we see the back of it the better. It has been sport in name only.

Now, on the day of what would normally be one of the English calendar’s stand-out fixtures, all we had to observe was a relatively peaceful breaching of the limp defences of Old Trafford and, three miles away in town, a siege outside the Lowry Hotel.

It was all understandable but still rather wretched. Sport in this country has already been chopped off at the knees by the pandemic. Now, just as the end is in sight, the behaviour of our top clubs has proved so abysmal that those who have waited so calmly to be allowed back in to stadia up and down the country finally ran out of patience.

Supporters' anger towards their Glazer ownership has boiled over after the Super League plot

Supporters’ anger towards their Glazer ownership has boiled over after the Super League plot

Remember last summer when the Premier League clubs thrashed out a way to return to the field and finish the 2019/20 season? Remember the concern expressed that fans would gather inappropriately outside their club’s stadium on match day?

It turned out that we should have trusted them more. Apart from a couple of early incidents – including some regrettable scenes in Liverpool – football’s paying customers stayed away. They obeyed. They got it.

In the end it took something else to exhaust the reservoirs of patience. It took a kick in the stomach from those at the top.

And all we have left now is to hope that Sunday is as low as it gets.

Next weekend – in all likelihood – we will hail fabulous new champions from Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s second wave at the Etihad promises to be a big one.

We have to hope that Sunday's events are as low as this crisis in English football is able to sink

We have to hope that Sunday’s events are as low as this crisis in English football is able to sink 

Football needs to get back to normal and get as far away from this season as quick as possible

Football needs to get back to normal and get as far away from this season as quick as possible

It is then possible they may face Chelsea in an all-English Champions League final. Chelsea, in turn, are due to face Brendan Rodgers’ ambitious, easy on the eye Leicester in the FA Cup final.

And then we have the European Championships. Staged in part in England, in front of significant numbers of supporters no less.

That prospect felt like a world away as we watched the pictures from Old Trafford yesterday. But it is not. It is just six weeks.

Early summer and all the promise it holds cannot come quickly enough. Football has suffered for longer than we ever dared fear.



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