Peter Schmeichel believes Manchester United supporters would be better off working with the Glazer family rather than seeking new ownership.
Man United fans took their voicing of disapproval of the Glazer family’s ownership of the club to an unprecedented level on Sunday, when supporters engaged in a number of protests which saw a small group breach security at Old Trafford and make it on to the playing surface.
The demonstration ultimately claimed Sunday’s Premier League game between United and Liverpool, which has been postponed, and the behaviour of the fans sparked a lively debate on Sky Sports.
— Gez (@Gezz_MUFC) May 2, 2021
Legendary former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has now had his say on the incident and while he praised the fanbase for articulating their opposition to the European Super League in recent weeks, he suggested that the Glazer family is considerably more appreciative of the cultural significance of the Red Devils nowadays than they were when they bought the club.
“What I will say about the Glazer family is, initially, they didn’t get it, they didn’t understand it. And I’m not saying that they absolutely understand it now. But in the last many years, they’ve been a lot better at appreciating what Manchester United is all about,” Schmeichel told CBS Sports.
“I think everyone feels that the Glazer family is a little bit too detached from the club. They are there now and again, but they are not there every week.
“You never see Joel Glazer come out in front of the cameras and talk about the club, and I think that frustrates the fans a lot.”
Schmeichel, who was a crucial part of United’s 1999 treble-winning side, explained that any potential buyers would be unlikely to have a better attitude towards the club than the Glazers do.
The Dane called on supporters to begin working with the Glazers because, according to Schmeichel, the family is open to listening to all ideas.
Schmeichel continued: “It is easy to say that [we want the Glazers out]. But the club will be, I don’t know, three, four, five billion dollars? Who’s got that kind of money to buy the football club? If you look at potential buyers, are they going to make it much better? Is it going to be different?
“There are examples, but they never bought in at that price tag. I would much rather that we work with the Glazers, because I think there is a willingness within the family. Work with the Glazers to make this football club what this football club is supposed to be.”
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) May 2, 2021
While Schmeichel’s former teammates Gary Neville and Roy Keane refused to criticise the supporters involved in the protest, even the ones who made their way into Old Trafford, Schmeichel found it more difficult to defend the group who stormed the stadium.
“I don’t think the diehard fans were the ones inside the stadium,” Schmeichel admitted. “I think they are idiot troublemakers. None of them will remember the good times. Some of them weren’t even born when the Glazers took over the club.
“The diehard fans, the true fans, keep voicing your opinions. But keep it at a proper level. Don’t be stupid about it. Don’t demand something which is unrealistic. But keep up the pressure, keep up the ideas.”