Once again the biggest match in English football, at least traditionally, will see a dramatic protest by angered Manchester United fans. On August 22, Liverpool comes to Old Trafford for a renewal of the greatest rivalry in European football. If the most malcontent and outspoken group of United supporters get their way, not many supporters of the home side will be there to see it.
Protesting the Glazer family’s “stewardship” of the club, they are mobilizing via the hashtag #EmptyOldTrafford, and asking that United-supporting ticket holders for this match not even enter the grounds. It’s not a “walk out,” like we saw a couple times at Arsenal during the waning years of the Arsene Wenger era. It’s a “don’t walk in.”
— WHF!?? (@UtdWesleyy) August 9, 2022
The movement is currently mobilizing on social media, and you’ll find people of this mindset via additional has tags, beyond just #EmptyOldTrafford. There’s also #GlazersOutNow #ArnoldOut (targeted at CEO Richard Arnold) #MurtoughOut (aimed at Football Director John Murtough) and #GreenandGoldUntiltheClubisSold (an homage to the club’s original color scheme).
Look for Twitter accounts that have the green and yellow shield in the bio. They are not hard to find. And the Glazer-Arnold-Murtough team have given these footy fans plenty of grist for the mill.
— Isaac Gachuhi97 (@IsaacGachuhi9) August 9, 2022
“We got it wrong, and we want to show that we can put things right,” Joel Glazer told the fans in April 2021, just after the European Super League proposal collapsed due to intense and near universal backlash. United fans were skeptical of his rhetoric at the time, and deservedly so.
Thus far, they have been proven completely right- Glazer was all talk and no action. United’s summer transfer window has been disastrous thus far. They failed to address their most glaring need, holding midfield, and had absolutely no backup plan when their top transfer target, Frenkie de Jong, didn’t work out.
I will be taking part in #EmptyOldTrafford for the Liverpool game.
Hopefully more fans will too. pic.twitter.com/Eu1o0Y9nJi
— Paul, Manc Bald and Bred (@MufcWonItAll) August 9, 2022
Murtough is in charge of first team recruitment while Arnold does all the major business deals. Arnold is basically the new Ed Woodward, with he and Murtough in charge of reshaping the roster for a much needed rebuild. Or maybe they don’t realize a rebuild is needed?
One historically big PL game that has become a write off because of how low our owners have let #mufc sunk. Make the sacrifices you need to make the biggest, most eye opening legal protest against the Glazers to date and #EmptyOldTrafford v Liverpool. Glazers time HAS to be up. pic.twitter.com/PbT9gRNcRX
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) August 9, 2022
One wouldn’t think it could get worse than Woodward when it comes to transfer strategy, but here we are. United knew since at least June that Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t want to stay, but again, they had no contingency plan in place. Now their forward position group is starting to look almost as thin as their midfield. And what happens when you spend all summer chasing a player who wasn’t ever going to come and remain completely oblivious to a star player that has only his own interests in mind, not those of the team?
Panic buying of course! As bad as things were in the season opening loss to Brighton, it feels like the week got even worse when fans heard news of MUFC pursuing Marko Arnautovic.
This is the only way, #emptyoldtrafford consistently, indefinitely. Anyone going inside is a Glazer supporter. No excuses, no bullshit. If you love Manchester United. Stay outside, but please. Put your Club First,Empty Old Trafford #mufc #GlazersOut #clubfirst pic.twitter.com/V0ZWFcxejD
— Nick O (@domeafavour_16) August 7, 2022
Can you blame these people for being upset? I certainly do not. Just stay safe though! There is no need to break laws and destroy things, like we saw at Old Trafford last year.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks