Man Utd v Liverpool: Football Digest previews clash
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Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has urged the Glazer family to sell the club, claiming that ‘it would be the honourable thing to do’ with their popularity at an all-time low. Old Trafford played host to a large-scale fan protest prior to United’s match against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, with many supporters breaching the gates to the stadium and running onto the pitch.
The Glazer family have struggled to win over the Red Devils faithful since their connection with the club began in 2003.
Their financial dealings have seen United forced to handle rising levels of debt, and their failure to ensure a smooth transition after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement led to the club falling away from Europe’s elite, a decline that appears to be on the mend under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, last month’s European Super League fiasco seemingly damaged their reputation beyond repair, with the wealthy Americans subjected to near-universal criticism from supporters, pundits and former players alike.
A number of protests have taken place in recent weeks, including a lengthy demonstration at United’s training ground at Carrington, but Sunday’s event was by far the biggest.
Fans were seen in the stands and on the pitch at Old Trafford, just hours before kick-off against bitter rivals Liverpool in a match that could hand Manchester City the Premier League title.
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Neville, who was a vocal opponent of the Super League proposal, has joined the calls for the Glazer family to sell up in the wake of Sunday’s latest display of discontent.
He told Sky Sports that they have failed to provide even the bare minimum for a club of United’s stature, suggesting that a change of ownership would be the ideal solution for all parties.
“The Glazer family have been resilient and stubborn for many, many years,” said Neville.
“If you think about the club they picked up in 2004, it had the best stadium in the country, one of the best in Europe. The best training ground in the country, probably in Europe.
“A team that was getting to Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals regularly, and winning the league every season, or every other season.
“You look at the club now, this stadium, I know it looks great here, but if you go behind the scenes it’s rusty and rotting.
“The training ground is probably not even top five in this country, they haven’t got to a Champions League semi-final in 10 years and we haven’t won a league here for eight years.
“The land around the ground is undeveloped, dormant and derelict, while every other club seems to be developing the facilities and the fan experiences.
“The Glazer family are struggling to meet the financial requirements, and the fans are saying enough is enough.
“My view on it, quite simply, is they’re going to make a fortune if they sell this football club. And if they were to put it up for sale now, I think the time would be right and it would be the honourable thing to do.”
United’s game against Liverpool has reportedly been delayed until 6.30pm in light of the pre-match events, with protesting supporters posing a threat to the COVID-19 security at Old Trafford.
It remains to be seen whether or not the fixture will eventually be postponed until another day or even abandoned.
If the Red Devils manage to claim three points over their Merseyside rivals, they will extend City’s wait to be crowned Premier League champions for at least another six days.
However, if the visitors come out on top, Pep Guardiola’s side will secure the title for the third time in four seasons.
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