Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intervened as a group of fans took their protests against the Glazers to the training ground on Thursday.
The Old Trafford giants have been under the American family’s ownership since they completed their controversial takeover of the club in 2005. Their reputation managed to sink to a new low in recent days after attempting to launch the European Super League. United co-chairman Joel Glazer was named vice-chairman of the breakaway competition.
But the proposed league swiftly and spectacularly unravelled. United announced executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would leave by the end of the year and Glazer admitted “we got it wrong” in an open letter to fans.
But anger understandably remains and a group of around 20 fans protested against the owners at the club’s Carrington training base on Thursday.
United said in a statement: “At approximately 9am this morning a group gained access to the club training ground.
“The manager and others spoke to them. Buildings were secure and the group has now left the site.”
The Red Issue Twitter account showed an image of fans on a training pitch with a banner reading ‘Glazers Out’ and another saying ‘51% MUFC 20’ in reference to the model of ownership used widely in Germany.
— Red Issue (@RedIssue) April 22, 2021
In another image, protestors are shown holding a banner reading ‘we decide when you play’ outside the entrance to the main training ground building.
Solskjaer is due to speak publicly on the Super League for the first time at his next press conference on Friday.
Woodward ESL role revealed
Departing Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward never felt truly comfortable with the European Super League plans, a report claims.
United announced the senior figure’s impending departure on Tuesday amid the collapse of the attempted breakaway. Despite a bombshell announcement of their intentions, all six Premier League clubs backed out of the plan within 48 hours. Indeed, after Chelsea withdrew their interest, United and their other ‘Big Six’ rivals followed.
Amid the chaos, the Red Devils revealed that Woodward, a key figure at Old Trafford, is to leave.
The 49-year-old intended to depart at the end of the year, but according to the Daily Telegraph, his club brought forward the statement of his exit through fears that media outlets would leak the news.
The newspaper also reveals that it was not the fan outrage at the ESL plan which sped up the exit announcement.
Instead, Woodward had ‘serious misgivings’ over the competition which was announced on Sunday evening. He was also not as central to the competition’s proposals as first thought.
He felt ‘uncomfortable’ with ‘significant’ parts of its structure. Furthermore, he had a big regret in not speaking up strongly enough to his fellow executives about his concerns.