Manchester United were forced to close their megastore on the day their new home kit was launched due to anti-Glazer protests from angry fans.
Frustrated fans, furious over the club’s long takeover and ownership saga, blocked the entrance to the megastore to coincide with the unveiling of the new Adidas kit.
The 1958, the group behind the protest, say the store was closed at 10am, shortly after the protest started at around 9.45am this morning.
A small gathering of fans were seen outside Old Trafford holding anti-Glazer banners and flags. Onlookers reported a small but loud crowd, which also sang songs against the controversial owners.
Mail Sport understands the club have worked out a way to allow fans wanting to get their hands on the new kit to access the megastore. Security helped customers who were hoping to buy the shirt, which costs £110 for the authentic matchday version and £80 for a replica.
Manchester United have revealed their home kit for the 2023-24 Premier League season
United fans blocked entrance to megastore to coincide with kit launch
Supporters angry at the club’s Glazer property gathered outside Old Trafford
Police and security had gathered at Old Trafford to await protesting supporters, who were told on social media to gather at the megastore from 9.45am on Tuesday morning.
The 1958, a group behind several anti-Glazer protests in recent months, had urged fans to show up for the protest.
In a previous Tweet, the group wrote, “Bring your anti Glazer flags and banners! Be strong, be visual. We don’t stop until they sell our club.
Large sections of the club’s support are furious with the Glazers, with the process now in its eighth month having been launched last November.
With the new season seven weeks away, it remains to be seen whether Qatari sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani or British billionaire Sir Jim Ractliffe will succeed with their bids for United in what is essentially a two-horse race.
The US owners, who have drained more than £1bn from the club since their leveraged buyout in 2005, have yet to make a choice – despite a deadline for final offers at the end of April.
Initially, it had been hoped that any takeovers – or investments – would be made before the transfer window opened.
A small group of supporters brought flags and banners after being asked to attend the protest
Some fans were still able to get their hands on the new jersey, officially unveiled on Tuesday
There was a small police and security presence outside Old Trafford during the anti-Glazer protest
While United’s level of spending is unaffected, the lack of clarity over the club’s future is not helping those trying to strike deals.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Casemiro and Raphael Varane were among the United States stars to model the new shirt.
The kit, featuring a pattern of Lancashire roses, was officially unveiled earlier on Tuesday. It was first revealed to the public in a leak by United fan and British rapper Aitch at Glastonbury.
The 23-year-old rapper donned a never-before-seen United band as he appeared on the Pyramid stage on Saturday, although photos of the shirt were leaked on social media months before.
A group of Man United fans are planning a protest against the Glazers (pictured – Avram and Joel) at the club’s megastore – amid growing frustration over the long-running takeover saga
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe (left) and Qatari Sheikh Jassim (right) are the first two in the process and have already submitted several offers to take over the club.
Aitch leaked Manchester United’s new shirt during his Glastonbury set on Saturday
Marcus Rashford and Ella Toone were among the players involved in the kit launch
United confirmed on Tuesday morning ahead of the launch that the shirt worn by Aitch during his performance on the Pyramid stage was the same one their male and female stars will be wearing for the upcoming season.
TeamViewer remain the shirt sponsor, although United mutually agreed to end their partnership with the German tech company in December. The club said TeamViewer will still feature on the front of their kits until a new sponsor is found.
United and TeamViewer have reached an agreement in which United have the option to buy out the sponsorship rights to their shirt once a new partner is signed.
Football Insider reported that the Red Devils were earning £47million per season from the TeamViewer deal – although the Old Trafford finance team believe a new shirt sponsor could bring them higher value.