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Manchester United – Liverpool was called off after supporters of Man United protesting the club’s ownership surged onto the Old Trafford pitch two-plus hours before kickoff of the Red Devils’ match with Liverpool on Sunday.
A few hours later the game was postponed, as police clashed with protestors outside the stadium as they eventually cleared the streets around Old Trafford.
The first invasion happened just after 9am ET, and some were holding the green-and-gold of Newton Heath in protest of the Glazer family, an uneasy relationship between fans and ownership ratcheted up by United’s inclusion in the failed European Super League plot just 10 days ago.
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One fan climbed atop a goal, another spit in the 18, and another took a camera tripod and threw it onto the grass in just a few examples of the unrest at Old Trafford prior to the latest edition of a fierce rivalry. Players were left stuck inside their hotel rooms in central Manchester under police guard as fans also protested outside the hotels.
Manchester United, Liverpool and the Premier League will now work together to try and squeeze this game in and reschedule it before the end of the season, as the Premier League issued a statement confirming the game has been postponed.
Below is reaction from across the soccer world, as Manchester United – Liverpool is postponed and the protestors sent out an extremely strong message to the owners of United, those involved with the European Super League and the wider sporting world.
Reaction on Manchester United – Liverpool postponement
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on Sky Sports: “I’m disappointed the game is off. We all are. United fans have had enough. They’re doing this because they love the club. It’s not just the last few weeks and the Super League, it’s been building for years. They’ve thought enough is enough. It’s a huge statement for the game to be called off.
“This has been the build-up of the last few years. The leadership of the club hasn’t been good enough. When they look at the owners they think it’s all about making money. I believe the United fans are doing this because they love the cub. People might not agree but sometimes you have to put a marker down for people to notice. This will go all over the world. Hopefully the owners see the fans are deadly serious. There’s more to come, this is just the start from Man Utd fans, I guarantee you.”
Former Manchester United defender, and Sky Sports analyst, Gary Neville: “The reason why those thousands and thousands of fans came today is because they have had enough. They have had enough. We can make the story today about the disturbances and I think that needs to be covered but the story should be about the Man Utd fans. They have had enough. It will be very difficult in the next few months.
“I think all football fans should unite behind today what Manchester United fans have done. What they [the Glazer family] did two weeks ago was really dangerous for English football. We must not forget that. They tried to walk away and create a closed-shop league and tried to create a famine, a famine in this country for every other football club. They tried to create a famine two weeks ago in English football, Dutch football, German football, in French football. All over Europe. Those 15 clubs would have walked away from their leagues with that money and basically destroy the ethos of the pyramid of relegation and promotion in English football. That is number one.
“It is unforgivable what they did as a family two weeks ago. The Glazer family two weeks ago tried to implement something that would have damaged every single community in this country that has got football at the heart of it. That is why they are dangerous. [Florentino] Perez is dangerous. [Joan] Laporte and [Andrea] Agnelli, they are dangerous to the ethos of equal opportunities in football. Let’s not forget what we are arguing about it. Today there is anger, tomorrow I am hoping it switch to mobilization towards reform and regulation behind the fan-led review.”
“When I talked two weeks ago about these clubs, and I might be naive, they should act like the grandfather of English football. Demonstrating wealth, showing compassion, spreading their experience, being fair. They haven’t done. They’ve demonstrated self-greed and tried to walk away with all of the money themselves and left their family struggling below. That is not what you do at this football club or Liverpool Football Club.”
Soccer world reaction to Manchester United – Liverpool postponement, fan protests originally appeared on NBCSports.com