‘A fish rots from the head’ – United fans plan protests before Liverpool game

·3-min read

The 1958, a Manchester United fan group, will stage a fresh protest against the Glazers before Liverpool’s visit to Old Trafford on Monday, with the Manchester United Supporters Trust separately branding the American family’s ownership as akin to a “fish that rots from the head”.

After events organised by The 1958 before the first game of the new season Brighton and last season’s fixture with Norwich in April, there is expected to be a march to the stadium that will aim to arrive opposite the club megastore for 7.30pm, half an hour before kick-off.

A statement on the group’s website said: “For Liverpool, we will plant The 1958 flag at the trinity [statue] for those wanting to make a stand from 7.30pm. In support of match going and non match going fans who have made the journey to show their discontent against this failing ownership.

“We urge anyone to please contact us for any future ideas or plans concerning match day actions so we can help to validate the feasibility and provide help, support and advice. We are all on the same side and it’s crucial the momentum and pressure is maintained above all else. This is a war not a battle, dig yourselves in and be prepared for the long haul.”

The protest before the game against Brighton featured a large number gathering by the Trinity statue with flares being let off and the megastore forced to close for a period. United lost that game 2-1 and that was followed by Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 reverse at Brentford.

A large constituency of supporters have been unhappy with the Glazers’ ownership since Malcom Glazer bought United in 2005 via a leveraged purchase that loaded a considerable debt on the club. Seventeen years later that stands at roughly £500m.

Meanwhile, the Brentford defeat moved the Manchester United Supporters Trust to release a statement that was particularly strong given it is in negotiations with the club regarding a fan-share policy that is expected to be passed following last week’s ballot with Must members.

Joel and Avram Glazer
Joel and Avram Glazer are owners of Manchester United and the cause of a lot of fans’ discontent Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA

It said: “As we’ve always said, a fish rots from the head. And the ultimate responsibility for the terrible state of our football club must lie with its owners, the Glazer family. It is now for them and their management team to explain to United fans just why we are in this state, and what they are going to do about it. We’ve had some difficult times in the last decade, but this really does feel like rock bottom.

“We’re being asked a lot about protests at upcoming games (including Liverpool) and as we have always said we will publicise any credible, lawful and peaceful protest so that our members have the information and can make their own decision as to whether they wish to take part.

“We will announce the ballot result in the coming days and expand the consultation to ensure no fan is excluded from giving their view.”