Manchester United fans have organised a high-profile mass walkout from Saturday’s match against Wolves at Old Trafford to protest about the running of the club by the Glazer family and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, as reported here on Saturday.
It was originally intended to stage the walkout on the 58th minute in honour of the Munich air disaster, the anniversary of which is on Tuesday. However, it was later decided to show respect to the players who lost their lives at the 58th minute with a minute of applause, and to then stage the walkout ten minutes later.
— Gez (@GezMUFC99) January 30, 2020
However, there has been a development that will leave fans torn as to whether to go ahead with the walkout: United’s new signing Bruno Fernandes is set to make his debut for the club in the same game.
The coincidence – if it is one – is a stroke of good luck for Woodward and the Glazer family, who will hope that the fans’ desire to welcome their new star will put paid to the planned protest.
Woodward in particular has come under huge pressure from supporters in recent weeks, enduring vicious chants and having his Cheshire home attacked with flares and graffiti.
"Singing about "killing" or "burning" does not have a place in football."
Police have arrived at the home of Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward following an attack by fans of the club.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 29, 2020
Fans are unhappy that Woodward has not appointed a director of football and is too involved in transfer business and footballing matters generally. There have been numerous reported botched transfer dealings, notably that of Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland, who is a family friend of Olé Gunnar Solskjaer and had reportedly told the manager he was going to join the club.
The Glazers are also accused of plunging the club into debt, draining millions from the coffers whilst failing to invest in staff, players, development and infrastructure.
Woodward has recently recruited former Sun reporter Neil Ashton’s new PR firm to improve his image with fans, but the move has so far backfired, with articles being published in his former employers’ paper that reek of propaganda.
Many people have even suggested the attack on his home was staged to garner sympathy among the fanbase, noting that The Sun appeared to have a reporter and cameraman present at the scene.
I actually think this has been a PR stunt you know…
Look at this article. That's 100% a professionally taken photo.
And I doubt people actually doing this kinda thing give interviews to the sun either ????
Hope this helpshttps://t.co/aEZjtDNQ7n
— Mike (@MikeLUHGv3) January 29, 2020
Fernandes’ arrival has seemingly done little to appease the Old Trafford faithful in regard to their campaign to oust the Glazers. It may or may not have done enough to avert the mass walkout and it remains to be seen how many empty seats there are at Old Trafford in the closing minutes of tomorrow’s game.