Manchester United stars were left shocked at how easily angry fans were able to breach security after same group who attacked Ed Woodward’s house stormed training ground amid European Super League backlash
- A mob of Manchester United fans mobbed the club’s Carrington training ground
- United stars were shocked at how easily the mob was able to breach security
- A source told Sportsmail that the training base needs to beef up security
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Nemanja Matic confronted the 20-strong group
Manchester United stars were shocked at how easily angry fans were able to breach security at their Carrington training base before confronting manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Thursday.
The supporters protested against the club’s American owners over United’s role in the failed European Super League and challenged Solskjaer about why he did not speak out against it.
The group of around 20 fans belong to the self-styled ‘Men in Black’ who attacked United chief Ed Woodward’s house in Cheshire in January last year.
Solskjaer came out to try to placate them, accompanied by new technical director Darren Fletcher, coach Michael Carrick and 6ft 4in Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic, on the condition that their conversation was not recorded.
Manchester United stars were shocked at the ease at which a mob entered their training base
The fans are said to have asked Solskjaer why he opposed the Glazer takeover when becoming a patron of Shareholders United while he was still a player in 2005, but did not join other Premier League managers in condemning the ESL, which collapsed earlier this week.
‘There was one meathead shouting the odds who soon piped down when Ole started talking to them,’ a source told Sportsmail.
‘But the players were concerned at how easily the fans got through. There weren’t enough security guards to keep away an angry group like that. It needs beefing up to stop this happening again.’
United would not comment on their security arrangements last night but a review is expected.
Furious supporters breached security to protest against the reviled European Super League
The failed £4.6bn plot has reignited demands for the unpopular Glazer family to sell up
The ‘Men in Black’ have also turned up at the homes of former Manchester United stars Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand in the past when they were in contract disputes with the club.
Woodward, who has confirmed he will stand down in the wake of the Super League fiasco, was not present at Carrington yesterday, even though he had been expected for meetings.
Despite a public apology from chairman Joel Glazer on Wednesday night, the group of protesters descended on the training ground at about 9am and blocked the entrances, before moving from the front security gate to the main building of the complex.
They got on to the first-team training pitch and gained access to the academy centre before posting photos on social media of themselves holding banners. The messages read: ‘Glazers Out’, ‘51% Utd’ — a reference to the German ownership model which gives fans a majority stake in a club — and ‘We Decide When You Play’. The latter is said to have particularly upset members of the United squad.
A source told Sportsmail that the club must beef up its security presence after the breach
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic confronted the mob
Some senior players, as well as members of the Under 23s and women’s team, were unable to get into the training ground while others en route to Carrington were contacted and told to stay away until the protest had finished.
United called the police, who sent officers in a squad car and riot van to monitor the situation but took no action.
The club issued a statement saying: ‘At approximately 9am a group gained access to the club training ground. The manager and others spoke to them. Buildings were secure and the group has now left the site.’
United also have security concerns for Sunday’s game at old rivals Leeds United.
The first Premier League fixture between the clubs at Elland Road in nearly 18 years will not be as highly charged as it would have been with fans in the stadium.
But Leeds supporters protested outside the ground when the Liverpool team bus arrived at Elland Road on Monday after it emerged that the Merseyside club were one of the six English teams who had signed up for the Super League.