Man United fans break into training ground to protest Super League decision

22 April 2021, 12:18 | Updated: 22 April 2021, 13:48

Manchester United fans have protested all week against the failed attempt by the club's owners to create a European Super League.
Manchester United fans have protested all week against the failed attempt by the club's owners to create a European Super League. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Around 20 Manchester United fans broke into the club's training ground on Thursday to protest against the club's American owners, who played a key part in a failed attempt to set up a European Super League.

The Glazer family's reputation has sunk to a new low amongst fans in recent days, after United co-chairman Joel Glazer was named vice-chairman of the breakaway ESL competition.

But the family admitted "we got it wrong" after fierce opposition led to all six English football clubs pulling out of the proposed league less than 48 hours after it was announced.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who also played a key role in the ESL, resigned from his role on Tuesday, after 16 years at the club.

Read more: Man United co-owner Joel Glazer joins chairmen in apologising to fans over ESL

Read more: All six English clubs set for European Super League have withdrawn after fan protests

The Glazer family have apologised for their role in the failed ESL proposal.
The Glazer family have apologised for their role in the failed ESL proposal. Picture: PA
Man United chief executive Ed Woodward resigned on Tuesday.
Man United chief executive Ed Woodward resigned on Tuesday. Picture: PA

On Thursday morning, around 20 fans unveiled banners at the club's training ground reading "Glazers Out" and "we decide when you play".

Another read "51% MUFC 20", referring to the fan led model of ownership used widely in German football.

Read more: European Super League: What is it and why is it so controversial?

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and others spoke to the protesters, the club said.

"At approximately 9am this morning a group gained access to the club training ground," a spokesperson said.

"The manager and others spoke to them. Buildings were secure and the group has now left the site."

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "We're aware of a protest which took place today at Manchester United's Carrington training ground.

"Officers were present to monitor the situation and remained in the area shortly after to offer reassurance. Those attending have now dispersed."

Man United fans have previously protested outside Old Trafford.
Man United fans have previously protested outside Old Trafford. Picture: PA

The protest follows a rare statement from Joel Glazer, who admitted on Wednesday that he and his colleagues had "got it wrong" in signing the club up for the already-defunct breakaway competition.

In an open letter to supporters, he said he is "personally committed to rebuilding trust with fans" and that he and the club "apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days".

Glazer added that he still believes European football needs to become more sustainable but said the competition "was not the right way to go about it."

Read more: ESL founder says it 'cannot go on' after England's 'big six' pull out

He continued: "Although the wounds are raw and I understand that it will take time for the scars to heal, I am personally committed to rebuilding trust with our fans and learning from the message you delivered with such conviction.

"In seeking to create a more stable foundation for the game, we failed to show enough respect for its deep-rooted traditions – promotion, relegation, the pyramid – and for that we are sorry.

"This is the world’s greatest football club and we apologise unreservedly for the unrest caused during these past few days.

"It is important for us to put that right."