They got in through an entrance next to the Munich Tunnel, a symbol of Manchester United’s tragic but everlasting bond with the European Cup.
The Glazer family’s botched attempt to sever that tie with the preposterous European Super League was just one of the reasons supporters felt compelled to vent their fury outside Old Trafford on Sunday and somehow got on to the pitch — which is more than can be said for the players of United and Liverpool.
How did it happen? How did a planned protest which was supervised by a heavy security presence end up with fans on the playing surface, kicking the match balls among themselves, taking the corner flags, hurling flares at the Sky Sports TV gantry and ultimately clashing with police on the streets outside?
Manchester United fans stormed Old Trafford and forced the Liverpool game to be cancelledInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Supporters made it onto the Old Trafford pitch to show their frustration with the Glazers
More than a thousand of them had gathered in front of Old Trafford ahead of the 2pm protest. Some way short of the 10,000 that had been mooted, but a significant number all the same and, ultimately, enough to force this fixture to be postponed.
They arrived from both ends of Sir Busby Way, past the anti-Glazer banners and the men selling green and gold T-shirts bearing the message ‘United Against Greed’.
Some came with young children which seemed odd at the time and wholly inappropriate in light of what happened next.
Fans congregated around the Holy Trinity statue of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton in front of the Megastore and already there was a hint of menace in the air.
Manchester United have been embarrassed by a string of break-ins in the last five years.
The club’s last home game of the 2015-16 season against Bournemouth had to be postponed after a bomb scare, but the device turned out to be a dummy, left behind after a training exercise.
In November 2016, Sportsmail revealed that two fans had bunked in at Old Trafford, slipping away after a stadium tour and sleeping the night at the Theatre of Dreams, before attending the next day’s game against Arsenal.
In 2018, a pitch invader sneaked toy guns into the ground, and a year later the club were were slated by a coroner after lifelong fan John Whale, 80, died after falling down steps at the ground after his path to an exit was blocked by stewards.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Questions are being asked over what the latest breach means for Controlled Solutions Group (CSG), United’s much-maligned security firm, who have been in place since 2012.
Fans of all ages showed up but the atmosphere took a turn as emotions ran high at the ground
‘Joel Glazer’s gonna die,’ they sang as the red smoke from flares began to drift across the plaza to the thin cordon of police standing in front of the ground.
‘How we kill him I don’t know, cut him up from head to toe, all I know is Glazer’s gonna die.’
Some camera crews filming the protest songs were showered with beer as the numbers grew and emotions began to run high.
A couple of loud bangs signalled the official start of the protest and fans immediately began moving towards the stadium, edging towards the steel gates of the Munich tunnel and just a matter of yards from where United’s executives would normally enter Old Trafford.