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‘A good thing’ – Carragher passionately defends Man Utd fan protests

Jamie Carragher has described the scenes at Old Trafford today as ‘a good thing’ as he passionately defended the protests of Manchester United fans.

A protest was organised outside of Old Trafford ahead of Manchester United‘s high-profile game against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, with Red Devils fans venting their anger at the club’s owners following the failed European Super League proposals.

 

United fans have had a bitter relationship with the Glazer family since their leveraged takeover back in 2005, and while past protests have come and gone, their frustrations were once again spiked following the proposals which were released two weeks ago.

A large number of fans gathered outside the team hotel in Manchester city centre, while there were thousands more at Old Trafford, with several hundred managing to break into the famous old stadium and vent their frustrations on the hallowed turf.

The demonstrations saw the game initially being delayed, before eventually being called off with the Premier League citing the compromised safety and security.

Speaking after the postponement, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports that he felt that the protest was in the main ‘a good thing’ despite the actions of a few ‘idiots’: “Do we want to see supporters storming stadiums left, right and centre and getting games called off? No we don’t! But, I’m not someone who will sit here and criticise Manchester United fans for today because I’m Liverpool.

“I think two weeks ago, supporters came together through the Super League for the first time. I’ve just been looking on my phone and I see the reaction of Liverpool supporters, but you go back a few weeks ago and Liverpool supporters were involved with a bus [window being smashed] and got plenty of criticism. There will always be idiots who get involved.

“This thing that Manchester United fans have done today, I think it’s actually a good thing, in terms of protesting about what you are not happy about is going on at the club. There will always be one or two people who take it too far.

“Should that ruin it for everyone? No, and it shouldn’t dominate things when it’s other clubs, but I see supporters from other clubs trying to score points, but supporters protesting about what is not right about your football club, I’m behind that, whether that be Newcastle fans with Mike Ashley, Arsenal fans against [Stan] Kroenke, whoever it is.

“If there’s a few idiots doing stupid things, nobody here is condoning that, we’ve lost a game of football here today but you know what, the position I’m in, I accept that. What United fans in the last 10 or 15 years have been going through – and when I say going through, I mean what they have done to their football club – they are not happy about it and should be able to protest. And when you have got that many people who are unhappy and protesting there will be a few idiots and that will dominate the news.

“But this happens to fans all the time. We’ve seen it with Liverpool fans, where one clip goes everywhere when there are lots of other people doing really good things, and it’s the same with supporters up and down this country.

“I don’t want to see this being used by supporters scoring points of Manchester United, and I don’t like to see it about my own club or other fans.

“What we got two weeks ago was brilliant; fans all coming together. I know it’s never going to stay like that, I’m not naive to think that, but your Manchester United supporters on the back of that have had a demonstration. In the main, the main aim of this was unhappiness with their owners and what happened a few weeks ago.

“If you aren’t happy with your owners, you should be able to demonstrate. The majority of Manchester United supporters that I spoke to here, were peaceful.”

Footage on social media showed one protestor throwing a flare towards the media where the likes of Carragher and Graeme Souness were gathered, and while Souness was scathing in his criticism, Carragher once again passionately defended the fans’ demonstrations and hoped that there wouldn’t be a negative narrative painted in the media.

“From when I was a kid, going back 40 years, how football supporters were treated off the back of certain situations, I think about my own city and the club I love and how it was portrayed following two disasters, Heysel and Hillsborough, and this is obviously nowhere near that,” he added.

“But what I am trying to say is let’s not try to paint this just because of a few idiots, because someone threw a can or a flare. I’m still defending Manchester United fans.

“Let’s not forget that this is against this football club’s ownership, I’m going back further when I was a kid and how football fans were treated and how they were portrayed in the media on the back of a few idiots.

“Manchester United fans are here because they are fuming at how their football club is being run. Should they storm the pitch? Should they throw a flare? No. But we are talking about thousands of people.

“We saw Arsenal fans [protesting], we saw Chelsea fans trying to stop a game until Petr Cech came out and they dropped out of the Super League. I’m sure Liverpool fans may do something similar.

“I’m sticking with any football supporter in this country because in the main, they are very good people who love their football clubs, and that’s what Manchester United fans have done today.

“Football supporters get portrayed as animals, and we may see that on the front and back pages tomorrow, but the majority of Manchester United fans have come here for a peaceful protest and let’s hope that message doesn’t get ruined.

“Let’s not get away from why it was done, and why this protest has happened, and why any other set of supporters in their position would have done exactly the same.”

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