May 11, 2021

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Manchester United v Liverpool is the latest and biggest fan domino to fall


The fact that Manchester United vs Liverpool in a huge Premier League game at Old Trafford on Sky Sports could be called off due to protests is huge.

It’s hard to verbalize or quantify just how meaningful this is. Manchester United against Liverpool is a match steeped in sporting, cultural and societal connotations, a historic meeting between two football institutions, one encircled in calendars where minute matches are announced and around which plans are made for months to come. advanced.

For it to be postponed for some reason is remarkable. Problems stemming from a global pandemic, perhaps. Bad weather certainly claimed its fair share of games, but it was a different kind of storm that swept through Old Trafford. This protest by supporters forced such drastic measures is colossal.

‘We decide when you play,’ read the post on a banner outside Manchester United’s Carrington training complex just over a week ago. These words were not hollow. It was a warning that not everyone heeded. Many expected some sort of protest to provide pundits with a pre-game talking point or opening paragraph for newspaper reporters across the country. None envisioned this becoming history at the expense of the sport itself. But fans have been overlooked, taken for granted, and treated like customers for too long. They have a collective voice and it’s louder than any of us could have imagined before.

Sky Sports played its part in Sunday’s events. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both spoke with force, power and brilliance about the need to ‘rally’ against the Super League and its inevitable ramifications, but once that life and passion is infused into this type of movement, they become sensitive and empowered. After defeating the billionaires in a battle, he was never going to give up the war again.

There was a concerted effort by some to suggest that the challenge against the Glazers is a recent phenomenon fueled by a lack of success on the pitch, with the collapse of the Super League simply the catalyst. He ignored the reality of the situation, the tensions simmering for more than 16 years. Protests took place before the takeover in 2004. Some fans literally founded a new club as an act of resistance in 2005. The Green and Gold campaign began in 2010 when the club reigned as Premier League champions and had participated in the last two Champions League. finals.

These are not spoiled children throwing toys from prams but people whose point of view has been consistent from the start, through trophies and relative turmoil.

A minority naturally treated it as a chance to damage property and equipment. They should be doomed, but it is also wrong to treat them as part of this and make the headlines. For a few, it was an excuse to do whatever they wanted, to act childish and selfish, to distract from the topic. They were protesting but only against perceived injustices in their own lives, against The Man for holding them back or because their mate had texted them to see if they were free and hit Stretford. For them, it wasn’t about the Glazers and never will be.

Throwing flares and breaking windows won’t affect them. Forcing an important game between the country’s two most important teams, the keepers of an unsuccessfully closed store on the largest possible public platform, could be called off by a peaceful majority protest. The destruction of private property is lamentable and the culprits must be punished, but the vandalization of the public image must be the center of concern. As Roy Keane has reiterated, this is just the start. Yes Manchester United against Liverpool is no longer sacrosanct, so any hope some had of retreating to their bunkers to have everything destroyed has dissipated.