Manchester United fan protests must be civilised, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

A minority of protesting supporters clashed with police last weekend

Manchester United co-owner refuses to apologise to fans as he ignores reporter

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed the right of fans to protest, but said they needed to be “civilised” after Sunday’s breach of security at Old Trafford led to their Premier League game against Liverpool being postponed.

Protests from supporters against the Glazer family, which have taken place since they bought the club in 2005, have reignited since United’s involvement in the botched attempt to create a breakaway European Super League.

United fans stormed Old Trafford on Sunday and invaded the pitch, while protesters also clashed with police outside the ground, with six officers injured during the demonstrations.

Solskjaer said the Glazers were working to improve their communication with supporters and that he had received a personal apology from the American owners.

“We have to listen, to hear the fans’ voice,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Wednesday. “It’s everyone’s right to protest but it has to be in a civilised manner.

“Unfortunately when you break in, when police officers are scarred for life, that’s a step too far. Then it’s a police matter, it’s not about showing your opinions anymore.

“I’ve been communicating with the owners and I’ve had a personal apology. I have always had a good relationship and they [owners] do listen to me. They do listen to fans and I am sure there will be better communication coming.”

United thrashed AS Roma 6-2 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie at Old Trafford and Solskjaer hopes his players can put the turbulent events of the past week out of their minds and focus on reaching the final.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see we have challenges to be dealt with,” he said. “I would be sad if all the good work the players have gone got disrupted. Our focus is on playing well and getting to a final now.”

Reuters

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