Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel labeled the protesters who broke into Old Trafford on Sunday as ‘idiots and troublemakers’.
A number of angry supporters managed to get into United’s famous grounds as part of broader calls for the club’s much-maligned owners, the Glazers, to step away in the wake of the European Super League fiasco.
Their aversion to years of mismanagement culminated in tensions that escalated over the weekend – and soon images surfaced of people standing up against the hierarchy on the field. Equipment was broken and two police officers were injured.
Hundreds of supporters broke into Old Trafford on Sunday to protest against the Glazer family
Peter Schmeichel has labeled protesters as ‘idiots’ and believes they weren’t ‘die-hard’ fans
Now, in the wake of the incident, Schmeichel, a United ambassador, has chosen to criticize hundreds of protesters by insisting that those who stormed the stadium were not loyal members of the fan base.
He told CBS Sports: ‘I don’t think the die-hard fans were the ones in the stadium. I think they are idiots, troublemakers. None of them will remember the good times. Some of them weren’t even born when the Glazers took over the club.
‘The die-hard fans, the real fans, will continue to give your opinion, but keep it up to date. Don’t be stupid about it. Don’t demand anything that is unrealistic. Keep the pressure high, keep going with the ideas.
Avram (left) and Joel (right) Glazer are under new calls to leave after a series of bad decisions
“What we’ve learned from the past two weeks is that if we work together and show that we resist ideas that we don’t agree with, as a huge group, it has an effect. I think football, and not Manchester United, is now at a crossroads.
“There is now an incredible opportunity to change direction. Something I think has been needing it for a long time. ‘
The field invasion took place just hours before United was due to receive Liverpool. As a result, the Premier League game was postponed due to safety concerns and fears that the coronavirus bubble was broken.
It is currently unclear when the game will take place now, with both teams dealing with packed schedules until the end of the season. However, Sky Sports has confirmed that the game will continue at a later date.
An enraged United supporter is portrayed with a corner flag raised during Sunday’s massive protest
The scenes in and around Old Trafford saw United’s match against rivals Liverpool postponed
The ugly scenes began when the massive protest against the Glazer family was in full swing. The meeting was largely announced on social media a few days earlier, as calls for change at the top of the club continue to grow.
But despite vocal opposition to United’s ownership, Schmeichel believes a new buyer won’t be easily found due to the huge costs involved – and has urged fans to work with the Glazers instead.
‘The club will be, I don’t know, three, four, five billion dollars? Who has that kind of money to buy the football club? Schmeichel added.
‘If you look at potential buyers, are they going to make it much better? Is it going to be different? There are examples, but they never bought at that price tag.
Many flares of green and yellow smoke, the colors used in protests against the Glazer, were set in motion
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is pictured with the Glazers at the Nou Camp in April 2019
“I would much rather we work with the Glazers because I think there is a willingness within the family. Team up with the Glazers to make this football club what this football club is supposed to be.
‘I think everyone thinks the Glazer family is a bit too separate from the club. They are there every now and then, but they are not there every week. You never see Joel Glazer come in front of the cameras and talk about the club, and I think that really frustrates fans.
‘We own this property, but from the outside the owners don’t seem to care that it’s all about money. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think they are very proud of their ownership of Manchester United. I just think there is now a need for a restructuring of the way it is managed. ‘
Schmeichel, who played for United between 1991 and 1999, is now a global ambassador for the club – and the fact that he is on the payroll and defending the Glazers has led to heavy criticism from supporters.
United fanzine Red Issue, who played a prominent role in building the protest, shared a clip of Schmeichel speaking on Good Morning Britain on Twitter, bluntly calling him a ‘clueless d ***’.
A number of social media users have reacted furiously to Schmeichel’s divisive comments
Another user responded with the vomit emoji to the idea that the Glazers were working with the fans. “Another ex-player who’s probably on the payroll … shame on you!” they added.
“Another Glazer doll!” a third insisted.
Schmeichel has also been urged to “ wake up and live in the real world ” after his divisive comments. “They will never bond,” said another.
A fifth supporter reflected on the former goalkeeper’s decision to move to Manchester City in 2002, despite his connections to United, and accused him of having ‘no idea’ about the club.
It has since become clear that United may face a point deduction after failing to live up to their meeting with Liverpool. Both the Premier League and the Football Association are investigating the matter.