Supporters make black the new red over Glazer protest

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Manchester United supporters will dress in black at today's FA Cup final against Arsenal to mourn the club's takeover by Malcolm Glazer.

Some supporters have advocated radical action, such as a pitch invasion at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but fans' groups fear a major incident would be counter-productive.

"One of the core issues for United fans is that Glazer will show no respect to our club's history and tradition, so it would be remiss of fans to do anything that could taint such an intrinsic part of English football's tradition," said a statement released by a coalition of supporters' groups including the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association.

"We are asking for fans to wear black to mark the death of our club and regard this match as the last to be played whilst the spirit of Manchester United was still alive," added Colin Hendrie of the IMUSA.

"The supporters' coalition wishes to make clear that it has no intention of encouraging disruption of the match itself."

South Wales Police said they had no special policing plans for the match. "If people do protest in an unlawful manner we will respond appropriately," a spokesman said.

"The FA Cup is no different to any other occasion in which people act unlawfully," he added.

The Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has talked about the cancer scare he endured when kept out of the side by a recent injury .

The 28-year-old Sweden international had a two-week wait as surgeons sought to explain a hip complaint. Ljungberg was tested for cancer and other diseases but has now been given the all-clear and is set to play in the final.

"I was frightened. I was tested but nobody seemed to know what was wrong with me," Ljungberg said.

"I was getting a shooting pain in my hip and we didn't know what it was. First of all we thought it was an old injury. But they didn't find anything wrong, even though when I had an ultra-sound test it was all really swollen.

"Then they realised the glands in the hip had caused it by swelling up but still didn't know why I had the infection."

Ljungberg turned out to have a nerve problem which was corrected after surgery and the player made his comeback against Birmingham last Sunday.

Ljungberg continued: "We now know that because the glands were swollen, the nerves were stuck when I moved.

"I had the surgery two weeks ago and felt better straight away."