Our plan was to delay or abandon Manchester United game

Our plan was to delay or abandon Manchester United game

Brilliant. Sunday was the best result we could have had. It was the plan from the start: to delay or abandon the game – that was certainly the intention of many of us.

It all has to do with the Glazers. It took a long time to do because we protested in 2005 [when they bought club], and again in 2010. I can understand people saying, “It’s just because you don’t win stuff anymore. But that’s not the point – it’s about a football club and the community around it.

My day started when I met some friends, I had a drink in front of the Tollgate pub, then I walked to the ground, where there were people with banners and flares singing.

We also knew what was going on at the Lowry [the team’s hotel] because we were in contact with people there and knew the people there were trying to delay the coach. The intention was that if the coach left the Lowry, we would attempt to disrupt him at Old Trafford.

People started to descend towards the Munich tunnel. A door was put through and some people managed to get through it. It is not clear what happened next, but it seemed to me that someone had opened an exit door from inside the ground.

I would say between 500 and 1000 were successful, and that ended with quite a few of us on the pitch. It was relatively peaceful: There was a bit of anger at the Sky Sports platform the presenters were on, but nothing serious. A flare went up but it fell really short, and generally it was pretty quiet and it lasted about 15, 20 minutes, and then everyone left quite peacefully.

The feeling was that the point was made and we gathered again on the forecourt. Other people entered the ground – I was not one of them – and over time the police mobilized and began to clear the forecourt. Things got a bit heated. From what I could see, there were problems on both sides: bottles were thrown at the police, batons were shot by them, and that was it.

Manchester United supporters on the grounds of Old Trafford. Photography: Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Of course, we would love to have watched a Manchester United-Liverpool game, but at the end of the day it’s much bigger than that. If we get a point deduction we wouldn’t care: it’s our luck because the government is allegedly listening to us [after the failed European Super League]. But since I don’t think it will continue in the long term, we need to grab that momentum and move forward with it.

It was spontaneous to enter the ground. This has been discussed among several people, but you will notice that no one is taking responsibility for the protests because no one wants to get in trouble.

Will there be more protests? Yes. Maybe not again on this scale because it was United-Liverpool, a world audience, on a bank holiday, but there will be more.

I understand some people say a line was crossed because it was illegal [entering Old Trafford] but there is little that passive resistance can do. You can tweet “#Glazersout” but what is it for?

I saw pictures of a policeman with a severed head – no one tolerates it – but given that there was the big end of 10,000 people there, you’re sure to have a few idiots. What is interesting is the number of shop stewards who say they are on our side.

The number of young boys and girls was really encouraging. Will the glaziers really hear us? Well, that’s all we can do. The only other recourse that many of us have talked about recently is to withdraw your money by quitting gambling.

Personally, this is not acceptable. I did this in 2005 for a few years and it made no difference. You say, “I’m going to stop doing something that I love that has been part of my life for 40 years – so am I going to let them win?” No. “

The Fiver: Sign up and receive our daily football email.

The general outrage over the Super League has given momentum: it’s now or never. I saw a lot of Liverpool fans on social media who supported what we did. There had been discussions over the past two weeks about their coming on Sunday, but it would have been too difficult to facilitate. That would have made quite a statement.

Some have asked, if United could have won the league on Sunday, would we? That’s a very good question. Hand on heart, I think some of us did, but I don’t think you would have had 10,000 there.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here