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Anti-Glazer protests postpone Manchester United vs. Liverpool originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Sunday's highly anticipated Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool was postponed prior to kickoff as fan protests against United's owners spilled onto the pitch at Old Trafford.
Manchester United supporters began gathering at the club's hollowed ground around three hours prior to the scheduled late afternoon start time, to voice their opposition to American owner Joel Glazer who, two weeks ago, drew scrutiny for his role in the controversial -- and now withdrawn -- announcement of a breakaway European Super League.
Peaceful protests turned violent when some demonstrators clashed with police before, breaching the doors of the stadium and causing damage to the ground. The league, in conjunction with both clubs and local authorities, decided to postpone the match between 2nd place Manchester United and 6th place Liverpool.
Manchester Untied released a statement, attributing the postponement to "safety and security considerations" and stating that discussions on a revised date for the fixture would soon take place with the league.
"Our fans are passionate about Manchester United and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest," the statement read. "However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger."
In its statement announcing the postponement of the match, the Premier League condemned "all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches."
"We sympathize with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football. The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course."
Sunday's events represent an escalation of a supporter movement against the Glazer family -- which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Manchester Untied supporters have expressed their displeasure with the Glazers since their leveraged takeover in 2005.
The match has significant implications for Liverpool who are currently vying for a place in the top four of the Premier League and a spot in next year's UEFA Champions League with five league matches left.