Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Manchester United fans to keep their protests peaceful when they host an anti-Glazer demonstration match against Liverpool before Sunday.
Up to 10,000 supporters are expected to gather outside the stadium to express their feelings to the club’s US owners following the collapse of the European Super League.
Solskjaer insists problems off the field won’t distract his players after fans flew a ‘Glazer Out’ banner over Elland Road ahead of last weekend’s game against Leeds.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Manchester United fans to keep their protests ‘peaceful’
Manchester United supporters have written a letter to the board expressing dislike for their involvement in the failed European Super League that failed earlier this month.
But he called on protesters to make their point without causing any trouble, as the fallout from the ESL debacle shows no signs of dying off.
“It is important that the opinion of the fans is listened to and that we communicate better,” said the United boss. ‘My job is to focus on the football side and have the best team possible.
‘I have been supported, I have had a lot of support from the club and the owners and I am sure that I will have the support again to go a step further.
Avram (left) and Joel (right) Glazer were deeply involved in the plans of the European Super League
As many as 10,000 fans will gather at Old Trafford on Sunday to protest against the Glazers
‘But I am so happy that all clubs agree that this should not be the way to move forward. On the other hand, if the protests are, it is important that they go well and that we keep it peaceful. ‘
Solskjaer believes Thursday’s 6-2 win over Roma in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final shows that his team is fully focused on their football.
“The players are focused on the game and nothing else,” he added. ‘They’ve had difficult situations before. It was, of course, a strange week before the game in Leeds after the announcement of the Super League.
‘But I have to say that I don’t worry for a second that our minds are not on football when it happens. I think you’ve seen here in the semifinals that the players are completely focused on performance. ‘
Manchester United fans flew an ant-Glazer banner above their league game on Sunday
United fans recently released a statement saying the Glazers are ‘not welcome in Manchester’ and that their ‘time is up’ and have drawn up a five-point plan for the club’s board.
Ed Woodward has already stepped down from the club and fans want the Glazers to follow suit
The fallout from the ESL debacle continued on Friday when United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward apologized at an emergency fan forum and vowed that the breakout league would not be revived. It followed a public apology from Chairman Joel Glazer, which was flatly rejected by angry supporters in a letter to the club’s owners.
Woodward, standing up in the aftermath of the controversy, said: ‘You will all have read Joel’s open letter to fans last week apologizing for the Super League decision and I would like to add my personal apologies to this forum.
‘I know you will feel angry and abandoned by the lack of consultation and, by the way, the proposal did not recognize the essential principle of open competition. A good conversation would have helped us avoid the mistake we made.
“I can assure you that we have learned our lesson from last week’s events and we are not aiming for a revival of the Super League plans.”
Manchester United fans are making a five-point plan for the club’s governance
1. Willingly and openly engage and promote the government-initiated fan-led revision of football and use this as an opportunity to rebalance the current ownership structure in favor of supporters and not defensively approach this revision in favor of the status quo. fight.
2. Appoint independent directors to the board whose sole purpose is to protect the interests of the club as a football club, not the shareholders and their focus on profit over results.
3. Work with the Manchester United Supporters Trust and supporters in general to create a share plan that is open to all and has shares with the same voting rights as those of the Glazer family.
4. Commit to fully consulting with season ticket holders about significant changes in the future of our club, including the leagues in which we play.
5. Offer a commitment from Joel Glazer that any expenses incurred in connection with the creation or withdrawal from the European Super League will be funded solely by the Glazer family and not by the club itself. We note that the Kroenke family has already made this dedication to Arsenal fans. ‘
The letter from fans on Friday expressed anger at the ‘greedy idea’ for the ESL, saying: ‘We are disgusted, ashamed and angry at the owners’ actions regarding the planning, formation and announcement of the European Super League. . This again clearly shows that the club’s owners are only interested in maximizing their own profits and don’t care or respect the opinion of fans. The complete lack of involvement with fans, our players and manager is a gross mistreatment of club affairs that we cannot forgive. Joel Glazer’s subsequent apology is not accepted. ‘
The letter presented a five-point plan calling on the Glazers to partner with a fan-led government scrutiny of football and commit to restructuring the way the club is run.
Meanwhile, United are on the cusp of a Champions League place, which Solskjaer insists is vital for the club, even if they can’t take Manchester City in the title race.
“I think that’s how football has become,” he said. First, you fight to win the Premier League, that’s the bread and butter, the dream.
That’s what everyone wants, but there’s almost a trophy – second, third and fourth – because Champions League is such a huge tournament to compete in.
‘You play against the best and you get a lot of financial benefit from it. Last season, when we were so far behind, our goal was to get into the top four. Sometimes the top four is not even safe.
“Arsenal and Chelsea can still win respective tournaments and not be in the top four, so we just have to make sure we do our job and get into the Champions League ourselves.”
United could also hit Liverpool’s hopes in the top four, but Solskjaer was hesitant to be drawn into the issue of denying their bitter rivals.
“We just think about winning ourselves,” he said. “Whatever that does to Liverpool shouldn’t worry us.
‘You have games that you look forward to all season. This Liverpool home game is one of the biggest games of the season, it doesn’t matter if we are first or second or third or fourth. Whatever this is, this is a huge, huge game.
“We know what they’ve been up to for the past three or four seasons. They were the best in the league, they’ve won the Champions League and they’ve had great seasons.
“That’s the challenge for us, to have that consistency now that we’ve come up higher and that we’re also challenging City so they feel like they have a few more games to win.”
Solskjaer insisted that off-field problems would not distract his players in the run-up to Sunday’s game