Jamie Carragher has hit back at fellow Liverpool legend Graeme Souness for his comments about the Manchester United protests at the weekend.
Sunday’s game between United and Liverpool was postponed due to protestors breaking into Old Trafford. What started as a peaceful protest was marred by some scenes of violence. United fans were protesting against the club’s owners, the Glazer family.
They have never got on well with the American owners and their dissatisfaction resurfaced when the club tried to break away into a new European Super League last month.
Those plans were ultimately shelved but it gave United fans the opportunity to remind them that they want them out of the club.
A protest took place on Sunday and it led to the fixture being postponed, with Man Utd releasing a statement to condemn the disruption.
While the events were unfolding, former Liverpool midfielder Souness said on Sky Sports that United fans were misdirecting their anger.
“I think it’s born out of United not being top dogs as much as what happened last week, I think that’s another excuse to have a go at them,” he said on Sunday. “These are serious, serious business people, I don’t think this will impact on their thoughts. I really don’t.”
He continued: “If you think you can bring serious pressure to serious business people who live 3,000 miles away, across the Atlantic, that it will drive them to accept a discounted offer for Manchester United, that will not happen.
“They’ve had to put collateral in, you don’t just go to the bank and say I want to buy Manchester United, I’ll need £500million or however much it costs to buy, without committing some sort of collateral.
“They’ve risked things to buy Manchester United, since then, they’ve given successive managers fortunes to spend.
“It’s only since Fergie stopped that the success has stopped and I think that irritates supporters and they have become the focus of their anger. I think it’s slightly misdirected.”
But speaking on Monday Night Football, ex-Reds defender Carragher, who also witnessed the protests, took issue with that opinion.
Carragher said on the Sky programme: “This talk of Manchester United fans only doing this because they are not challenging for the top honours… Supporters formed another club – FC United. That was at the height of this when it started.
“The green and gold campaign was in 2010, I think, when David Beckham came back to the club. The year before that, they were in the Champions League final. The year after they were in the Champions League final. So let’s not… lazy punditry. That’s what I call it.
“If you’re going to speak about something and you’re going to speak about something passionately – and you can have your opinion – back it up with the facts.
“This is nothing to do with where Manchester United are in the league. Yes, there’s been a decline, obviously, but this campaign has been going on for a long, long time, from when Manchester United were very, very successful.
“So let’s not accuse Manchester United fans of just throwing the toys out the pram because they’re not competing with [Manchester] City or in the Champions League, whatever it may be. That is absolute nonsense.”
Carragher was in support of protests
Despite being associated with one of United’s main rivals, Carragher understood why their fans were protesting.
He said during Sunday’s coverage: “We can only speak about what we saw. Do we want fans storming stadiums left right and centre and getting games called off? No we don’t.
“I’m not going to sit here and criticise Man Utd fans because I’m Liverpool. Two weeks ago fans came together.
“There will always be idiots who get involved. I think it’s a good thing, protesting – not being happy at what’s happened at the club.
“There will always be someone who takes it too far – not just in a protest. That’s a night out with mates. There’s always someone who does something stupid.
“We’ve lost a game of football but I almost accept that. I’m sure that [trouble] will dominate the news. It happens to fans all the time. One clip goes everywhere and there are lots of other people doing good things.
“I don’t want to see other supporters scoring points against Manchester United fans. The majority of Man Utd supporters were peaceful.”
The game is yet to be rescheduled, with time running out to fit it in the calendar.