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Why are Manchester United fans protesting?

A handy guide for the ignorant

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

Manchester United fans protested on Sunday in a heroic effort to finally put an end to the nonsense surrounding the club.

However, with the takeover by the Glazer family now well over a decade ago, it appears that some have mistaken the protests as driven largely by the current lack of success earned on the pitch.

In part, that has some roots in the truth, but the problems on the pitch are merely a reflection of the mistakes and errors that were pointed out long ago when a group of fans protested that the takeover would be at the root of the malaise.

For one, communications between the owners and fans has essentially been non-existent. The family do not attend games and have no interest in the sport, and as such have no emotional commitment or relationship with the club, and by extension has no feeling for the surrounding areas or community. A club should first and foremost support the region it operates in, but instead it is now merely a vessel for dividends and leverage.

The European Super League was merely the reminder that by giving up ownership of the club to the Glazers, they were reduce the club to a financial instrument that could treat its fans as customers rather than spiritual owners. The lack of investment under the guidance under Alex Ferguson meant that when the managerial genius ended, and was replaced by more prosaic alternatives, there were no solid foundations. Instead there was an ineffective scouting system, a ground that could be developed to match new stadia, and an experienced but ageing group of deadwood and superstars.

With the Glazers lack of interest in football, it made sense to appoint Ed Woodward with his commercial background, but his inability to let go of the football side, or to properly embrace, has seen years of stagnation, indifference, insecurity and self-sabotage.

With a handful of important games left to play in the season, and fans having made it clear that it is certainly possible to prevent them going ahead should they choose, it is time for the owners to take heed of the fans’ recent warning: we decide when you play.