The rescheduled soccer showdown between Manchester United and Liverpool FC faces a potential repeat of the violent protests that delayed the original match from last weekend.
Thousands of United fans gathered outside the club’s stadium last weekend to protest the club’s ownership by American Joel Glazer following his involvement in the short-lived and heavily opposed European Super League.
A group of angry fans broke into the stadium, while the remaining thousands outside clashed with police in scenes that pundits and politicians have condemned as “ugly.”
Glazer, who also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, issued an apology following United’s withdrawal from the proposed Super League, but many fans have demanded further action, including the club’s sale to new owners.
The English Premier League rescheduled the match – often touted as “the biggest game in English football” – but some fans have pushed for another protest, even as Glazer plans a sit-down discussion with fans by the end of May, according to the BBC.
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Fans have attempted to stir support on social media, with users on Twitter indicating that a new protest will go ahead.
The phrase “Round 2” has accompanied posts with the tag #GlazersOut and pictures from last week’s protest.
“Round 2 we decide when they play #glazersout,” one user posted.
“Who said the Liverpool game is gonna happen? Round 2 pending #GlazersOut #NotAPennyMore,” posted another.
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“Show up & shut them up. #MUFC #GlazersOut,” urged yet another fan.
Greater Manchester Police told Fox News that they are working with the clubs to ensure that the Liverpool match will face “as little disruption as possible.”
“We have reviewed our approach again following the events of last weekend and planned appropriate resourcing to ensure the safety of all those present,” a GMP spokesman told Fox News.
Manchester United did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
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Some fans have called for cooler heads, especially with the possibility that further protests and match delays could result in United missing out on much-needed admission to next season’s Champions League competition.
The Super League was the work of 12 team owners, including six from Barclay’s Premier League in England, three from Serie A in Italy and three from La Liga in Spain.
UEFA, the European soccer’s governing body, announced this week that the clubs that have already withdrawn from the league will forfeit 5% of revenues from European matches for one season, as well as a combined 15 million euros goodwill contribution to benefit children’s and grassroots soccer across Europe.
Three clubs – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus – that have not officially withdrawn from the Super League will face further, more severe sanctions, UEFA said.
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The Super League would have maintained a fixed 15 teams that would have seen the already staggering divide in financial power that plagues the European game grow even wider.
Reaction to the proposed Super League was immediate and furious, leading the English teams to withdraw just 48 hours after the initial announcement – and just one day after Real Madrid President Florentino Perez crowed victory in an endeavor he pursued for over 10 years.
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The Glazer family bought United in 2005 for $1.1 billion. The team is now publicly listed, but the Glazers retain majority ownership.