Sports

Man Utd training ground chaos, Solskjaer’s message and further protest plans

Manchester United fans are planning further protests after a group of fans stormed the training ground and confronted boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Around 20 fans breached security at the AON Training Complex yesterday and demanded to speak face-to-face with Solskjaer over his continued backing of United owners the Glazers.

The anti-Glazer movement has gained fresh momentum after the failed European Super League proposal, of which United co-chairman Joel Glazer was one of the main drivers.

The fans, carrying anti-Glazer banners, refused to leave the training ground until they had aired their grievances to Solskjaer, who opposed the America family’s takeover in 2005.

Solskjaer, flanked by midfielder Nemanja Matic, first-team coach Michael Carrick and technical director Darren Fletcher, listened as the fans made their feelings known.

After a heated exchange, the fans – who made their way on to the first-team training pitches and the main reception – were escorted from the training ground at 9.30am.

Angry fans blockaded Manchester United’s training complex on Thursday

Police were called to the training ground once the security breach became known, but stood back while the fans and Solskjaer engaged in dialogue.

Solskjaer is understood to have told the group that Joel Glazer “loves the club” when asked why he had reneged on his original stance following the takeover in 2005.

Players including goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defender Eric Bailly were among those held up in their cars as they tried to access the training ground, with both entrances blocked by the fans.

Police at Manchester United's Carrington training ground where a group of 'supporters' protested
Police at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground where a group of ‘supporters’ protested

The fans were from the Manchester Education Committee, the same one that confronted Wayne Rooney at his home back in 2010, when he threatened to leave United.

The home of United chief executive Ed Woodward, who is standing down at the end of the year, was also targeted by the same group in January last year.

But further protests are planned for United’s Premier League game against arch rivals Liverpool – who also joined the ESL before pulling out – at Old Trafford a week on Sunday.

Supporters in their thousands plan to march from the centre of Manchester to Old Trafford and protest by the statues of Sir Matt Busby and that of the club’s Holy Trinity – Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best.

A planned demonstration with Liverpool fans, bringing together groups who are usually the fiercest of rivals, has been scrapped, after the proposed ESL – to which both sets of fans were opposed – collapsed.

United confirmed the training ground breach in a statement which read: “At approximately 9am this morning a group gained access to the club training ground.

“The manager and others spoke to them. Buildings were secure and the group has now left the site.”

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