Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Manchester United fans set off smoke bomb at anti-Glazer protest

A Manchester United fan wears a Love United Hate Glazer badege

Angry Manchester United fans set off a smoke bomb outside Old Trafford as part of a mass protest against the club's American owners.

Ahead of the final game of the season at home game against Stoke, hundreds of fans congregated outside the ground holding placards with the words "Go" aimed at the Glazer family which owns the club.

The smoke bomb was set off outside the Megastore on the concourse outside the ground while hundreds of supporters congregated outside the directors' box and chanted anti-Glazer songs before being moved on by police.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed one smoke bomb had been set off but there were no injuries or arrests.

It is five years next week since the Glazers took over at Old Trafford, with critics saying the family has merely borrowed money to buy the club and saddled it with massive debts.

Fans have launched a campaign to oust them, many boycotting the traditional red shirts and scarves and instead wearing green and gold, the original colours of Newton Heath, the amateur side founded last century which became Manchester United.

Before the match protesters handed out green and gold flags and placards and whistles - to blow full-time on the Glazer family.

Avram Glazer, the co-chairman of Manchester United, had been due to attend the game but never made the journey due to flying restrictions imposed because of the ongoing ash cloud disruption.

The demonstration is the start of an escalation in the anti-Glazer campaign, aimed at driving the Americans out of Old Trafford.

A bid from the Red Knights group of wealthy United fans is expected in the next few weeks, although the consistent stance from Glazers has been that they are not interested in doing a deal.

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