Jamie Carragher insists he never felt threatened after engaging with a number of Manchester United supporters who made their way inside Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
Carragher was at Old Trafford to provide analysis for the Premier League clash between United and Liverpool, which was ultimately postponed, but he found himself an on-site reporter as hundreds of Red Devils fans breached security and stormed the stadium to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.
Carragher and United legend Gary Neville spoke with a small group of the protesters and while there was direct contact with the Sky Sports studio, Carragher was not aware of the more hostile scenes outside the ground.
“I stood on the touchline at Old Trafford, shocked as a couple of hundred United supporters made it onto the pitch,” Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column.
“I never felt threatened. There was a sense of revolt and mutiny within the stadium, not violence.
“Those fans who spoke to me and my Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville felt their voices had been ignored for too long and wanted to make their point in the most effective way possible, knowing the game was to be broadcast around the world.
“Gary and I spoke on the basis of what we saw and experienced. We did not have all the details of incidents outside the ground, or what might have been happening near the United team hotel which meant the safety of the players could no longer be guaranteed.
— Gez (@Gezz_MUFC) May 2, 2021
“Nevertheless, as an ex-Liverpool player and supporter, I was not prepared to go on live television and condemn United fans for being at the end of their tether when many of them have spent over a decade campaigning to raise awareness about how their club is run. I would be a hypocrite to do so.”
While there have been many protests among fans of clubs who were involved in the European Super League over the past fortnight, Sunday’s demonstration from United fans made it clear that there were more long-standing issues at play.
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) May 2, 2021
Manchester United Supporters Trust published an open letter to co-chairman Joel Glazer on Monday with a four-point plan on how the family can repair its relationship with a disenchanted fanbase.
“The division between the Glazers and United fans has grown to such a harmful extent it was obvious it was going to take more than green and gold scarves to send a powerful message,” Carragher explained.
“When you push your fanbase too far, there is bound to be a reaction.”