Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Manchester United fans to be more civilized with their protests after the recent demonstration against the club’s American owners was marred by violence, resulting in the postponement of the Premier League clash against Liverpool.
Whilst acting as the club’s spokesman on Wednesday amid the silence of the Glazer family regarding the incident, the Norwegian manager defended the right of the supporters to protest.
He also admitted that there was a need for better dialogue between the fans and the leadership of the club to rebuild their strained relationship.
However, Solskjaer pointed out that things went too far outside Old Trafford as police with batons clashed with fans, as some of them breached the biosecure perimeter of the stadium and got on the pitch ahead of the Liverpool game.
It was disclosed that 6 police officers sustained injuries, one suffered a fractured eye socket and one had a facial wound due to glass bottles that were thrown.
“We have to listen, we have to hear the fans’ voices,” Solskjaer said. “It’s everyone’s right, but it has to be in a civilized manner, though, a peaceful manner.
“Unfortunately when you break in, when police officers get injured and scarred for life, that’s too far. And when it gets out of hand like this, it is a police matter. It’s not about showing your opinions anymore.”
The protesters are not happy with the involvement of the Glazer family in the plan to set up a breakaway European Super League and have demanded that the American owners sell the club.
Co-owner Joel Glazer said in an open letter to fans he was “committed to rebuilding trust with our fans” and Solskjaer said work has started behind the scenes to open some dialogue.
“You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see we have challenges and frictions and things that have to be dealt with, with communication,” Solskjaer said.
“Other individuals than me have started already — we have discussed with the fans, we are communicating with fan groups, which is going to be massive for us going forward.”
“They have all accepted it came out wrong and was the wrong thing to do,” Solskjaer stated concerning the Super League scheme, “which is a start. Let’s continue.”
The club are waiting to see if there will be any punishment for the postponement of the game due to protests from fans. Meanwhile, a new date for the game has not yet been set.