What will happen if Man United fans’ “constant, relentless” anti-Glazer protests affect tonight’s game at Anfield?

Manchester United fan-led protest group called The 1958 have called for protests against the club’s ownership, the Glazer family, and held their first protest against Norwich City before the Red Devils won 3-2.

Liverpool are fighting to win the Premier League title for a second time in three years while their rivals, United, are in a battle to finish in the top four and achieve Champions League qualification for the 2022/23 season.

They go head to head at Anfield this evening and with United fans protesting again demonstrating against their owners, what would happen if protests delayed kickoff or interfered with match proceedings?

What has been said by the group called the 1958?

Ahead of United’s fixture, they released a statement that called for “constant, relentless, peaceful and legal protests” against the way the Glazers have run United in recent years but have specifically said they want to avoid “another Liverpool”.

This is in reference to the violent protests that broke out in front of Old Trafford in May last year.

Manchester United fans broke into the stadium, resulting in the postponement of the match.

So far, any plans for protests at tonight’s game at Anfield between Liverpool and United have not been made public and so it currently seems as though the 1958 may have temporarily shelved their “constant, relentless” approach to campaigning against the Glazers.

After beating Norwich City 3-2, the positive mood around the club has been restored a wee bit although in order for their protests to be truly effective, they need to have momentum instead of fizzling out.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Norwich City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - April 16, 2022 Manchester United fans displays a "Glazers Out" banner REUTERS/Craig Brough

From the outside looking in, United fans seem to pick and choose when to protest as they certainly had little to complain about when Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo were signed in the summer.

What would happen if protests disrupted match proceedings?

If kickoff was delayed, suspended or postponed due to protests, the Premier League would likely attempt to reschedule the game but at this stage, there would be very little room to do so given the congested nature of Liverpool’s fixture list.

Section L.12 in the Premier League handbook states that no club will receive punishment in terms of points deduction if the decision to delay, postpone or abandon a game is done so due to police or government intervention.

 

Football fans burn flares outside the Old Trafford during a protest against the Glazer's ownership of Manchester United. (Photo by Andy Barton / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

However, the FA’s own rules stipulate that Liverpool should, in fact, be awarded the three points and the game should not be rearranged.

The 1958 have not publicised any plans for protests and have made clear their desire for peaceful protests in the avoidance of “another Liverpool”.

I think supporters on both sides of the divide will be hoping for a peaceful but intense game at Anfield but with Manchester United set to be without six first-team players, Ralf Rangnick is picking his team tonight with his hands tied.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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