Glazers out: Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford to protest against owners
Manchester United fans protesting against the club’s ownership stormed the Old Trafford pitch.
Hundreds of fans invaded the stadium ahead of the behind-closed-doors Premier League contest against arch-rivals Liverpool.
United supporters were expressing their anger following plans backed by the Glazer family to join a proposed European Super League, which collapsed soon after.
The plans added to years of discontent and protests from supporters following the controversial takeover by the Glazers in 2005.
Large crowds gather ahead of kickoff
Outside the ground, large numbers of supporters were also protesting.
A protest was planned outside the ground at 2pm, with fans congregating at least an hour before.
It is believed those who gained access to the ground did so via the Munich Tunnel, after pushing down barriers, despite the attempts of security guards to prevent that happening.
A large number of fans ran back out of the stadium complex at around 2.20pm.
It was not clear whether the incident would affect the proposed kick-off time of 4.30pm.
A Liverpool win would hand the Premier League title to United’s neighbours, Manchester City.
Who owns Manchester United?
Malcolm Glazer first bought a stake in Manchester United in 2003, and by May 2005 he owned 57% of the club.
A few days later, the American took control of 75% of the club's shares. This in turn allowed him to delist the company from the stock exchange, and within a month, Glazer and his family had taken 98% ownership of the club via their Red Football parent company.
The final purchase price of the club totalled almost £800 million.
Malcolm Glazer passed away in 2014 at the age of 85, and as such, the club are now owned by his six children: Avram, Joel, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie and Edward Glazer.
Joel and Avram are in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, but their tenure has been far from harmonious, with many supporters dissatisfied with the sizeable debts that have been accrued as a result of the deal.
Malcolm Glazer initially financed much of his takeover with loans, using a ‘leveraged buyout plan’ rather than their own money, which involves borrowing money against a future asset to buy said asset.
That alone saddled United interest payments of over £60 million per year, and in the period of time since, it has been reported that the takeover has cost the Reds well over £1 billion in interest.