Furious Manchester United fans protesting against the Glazer family's ownership blocked both entrances to the club's Carrington training ground on Thursday morning in the wake of the European Super League debacle.
Joel Glazer, unveiled as European Super League vice-chairman when the bombshell announcement was made on Sunday, apologised on Wednesday in an open letter to all United fans after the club pulled out of the plans the day before.
"At approximately 9am this morning, a group gained access to the club training ground," read a United statement on Thursday. "The manager and others spoke to them. Buildings were secure and the group has now left the site."
Woodward exit due to European Super League plot
Sky Sports News has learned that Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward tendered his resignation to the Glazer family because he could not support their plans for a European Super League. He is due to remain in his post at Old Trafford until the end of the year.
Around 20 protestors, carrying banners, accessed Carrington, and made their way towards the reception of the training complex and to the first-team training area but did not enter any buildings. Police were called to the training ground.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was joined by assistant manager Michael Carrick, technical director Darren Fletcher and midfielder Nemanja Matic in addressing the fans, who then dispersed.
- Joel Glazer apologises for Man Utd European Super League plot
- Ed Woodward to step down as Man Utd executive vice-chairman
- Gary Neville: 'Scavengers' Glazers need to leave Man Utd next
The Red Issue Twitter account showed an image of fans on a training pitch with a banner reading 'Glazers Out' and another saying '51% MUFC 20' in reference to the model of ownership used widely in Germany.
In another image, protestors are shown holding a banner reading 'we decide when you play' outside the entrance to the main training ground building.
Solskjaer is due to speak publicly on the Super League for the first time at his next press conference on Friday.
Neville criticises Glazer family
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville labelled the Glazer family "scavengers" this week for United's role in the proposed Super League - and said they should be "booted out" from the club.
The Old Trafford giants have been under the American family's ownership since they completed their controversial takeover of the club in 2005.
He said: "I feel slightly complicit, I've stayed pretty quiet in terms of the Glazers over the years. I've done that because I've thought when the club was taken over as a Plc you knew it could be bought. It was out of the control of players, fans and everybody.
"I believe in a free market, and I've always thought 'what's the answer to the Glazers? Who takes them out? Russia, China, state money for the £2-3 billion it would need?'
"I've stayed quiet on the basis that it's still Manchester United, you can still watch the lads play, I can be happy and sad, I can still watch football in this country, they take dividends out, I can live with that slightly, but what I can't live with is attacking every single football fan in this country.
"They have stepped over the mark. They are scavengers and need booting out of this football club and booting out of this country. We have got to come together. It might be too late, there'll be people at Manchester United, fans 15 years ago who will say it's too late. It's never too late, we have got to stop this. It is absolutely critical we do.
"We know Manchester United have got more money. Arsenal have more money, Liverpool have more money. We can live with that, there's always going to be top clubs who have more money. But they can be beaten by Sheffield United or draw with Fulham. And they're trying to take that away to create franchise football. Never. It can never happen.
"These six owners, I hope they're panting hard and uncomfortable and their stomachs are churning."
Powerful bullies to blame - Butt
Neville's former 'Class of 92' team-mate Nicky Butt says those involved in plans to create a breakaway Super League demonstrated the "worst case of bullying".
Speaking to Sky Sports News before Glazer broke his silence, Butt said an apology from those in charge at Old Trafford is "irrelevant".
"I don't think an apology is too great anyway if I'm honest," he said. "I think what happened should never have happened.
"What happened is the worst case of bullying in my opinion, from powerful people, so whether they apologise or not is irrelevant to me really."
The concept of a Super League sparked an angry reaction around the world from governing bodies, politicians and perhaps most importantly, football fans.
In particular, the supporters' trusts of the Premier League clubs involved voiced their anger and vowed to do everything possible to prevent the competition from going ahead.
Asked if it will take time for the owners to regain the trust of the fans, Butt said: "A hell of a long time and I don't see how it's possible. It's difficult to regain someone's trust after going behind people's backs for so long.
"It's going to be difficult, I don't know how they do it.
"I think that's how some of these businessmen work. They work in the shadows if you like and they do what they think is right, but I think the shocking thing is they can't have empathy for the fans who make this sport so great.
"Without the fans, the sport is nothing, and to not be on board with what the fans want, that's the alarming thing for me.
"So it's a lesson to people who come into the country and come into powerful football clubs and think they can do whatever they want because they are owners and they are very, very wealthy."
We need to see change - MUST
The Manchester United Supporters Trust responded to Glazer's open letter to the fans on Wednesday.
"Let's be honest, this isn't about the message that skilled advisers cobble together for Joel," read the statement.
"We all know until they felt forced to withdraw they were determined to proceed with their Super League project regardless of opposition.
"Ultimately Joel's silence since 2005 says more than this message. We cannot just carry on as if nothing has happened. This is a watershed moment and we need to see genuine change as a result.
"The message we want to hear from the owners is that they are putting in place the Fan Share Scheme which will begin the transfer of ownership to the real supporters of our club - the people who have its best interests at heart."
UK Govt to look at German football model
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says the Government's root-and-branch investigation into the governance of football, which will be carried out by former sports minister Tracey Crouch, will consider whether supporters should be able to take a stake in their clubs, something that is mandated in the German top-flight.
"The German clubs didn't participate in this [Super League] proposal," he said.
"One of the points that was made to me by fans when the Prime Minister and I met with them yesterday was the fact that there was that financial stake. I think we should look at it.
Owners beginning to sit up and take notice. Hearing one owner close to throwing the towel in and putting his club up for sale— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) April 22, 2021
"International investment in football has been a good thing. It has increased the quality of the game and the players and everything else.
"I'm not saying we shouldn't have foreign investment, but I do think it is right that we look at how fans can have a stake in the game."
'Fans need greater say at PL clubs'
The United Stand presenter Flex thinks fans should have a greater influence on decisions made by Premier League clubs - similar to the ownership model used in Germany.
"We just have to speak as fans and what we do see is other models in countries like Germany, where the fans have more of a say," he told Sky Sports News.
"Now the house has been knocked down and it's in the rebuilding phase, we need to use different components to build the house, to see a more solid house, to see a more unified house.
"Fans need to have their say. They need to have representation at a high level. We've got a lot of great supporters who are doing a lot of things, a lot of fan groups doing a lot of things.
"A fan-led situation where the fans own a percentage of the club should absolutely be the way we go, because it seems like the owners have way too much say and are able to make very rash decisions without ramifications.
"I think the Premier League need to do more to stop this. You look at how the Glazers even bought the club, you look at different owners coming in from overseas. I'm all for investment, that's the name of the game, I'm all for business people being business people, but football decisions and football people need to still make decisions about football at our clubs, and that's not what we're seeing."
Woodward exit due to Super League plot
Sky Sports News has learned that Manchester Utd executive vice chairman Ed Woodward tendered his resignation to the Glazer Family because he could not support their plans for a European Super League.
Woodward resigned just hours before the Super League project was abandoned by the six Premier League clubs involved.
He is due to remain in his post at Old Trafford until the end of the year.