Huge protest outside Old Trafford as Manchester United fans rally against Glazer ownership

Video report by Chris Hall outside Old Trafford

Thousands of Manchester United fans have staged a major protest against the Glazer family outside Old Trafford ahead of the club's match against Liverpool.

Despite a positive result on the pitch, with a 2-1 victory, United fans were heard throughout the game singing anti-Glazers chants.

It is the latest in a series of protests aimed at showing the Glazer family they are not happy with their ownership of the club.

Supporters' group The 1958 planned the protest ahead of United's live televised game to get their voices heard.

Around three and a half thousand fans marched from the Tollgate pub to the 'Holy Trinity Statue' of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton outside Old Trafford.

Dividend payments have been made to shareholders in recent months, despite last season's poor performance, and fans have been dispirited by what appears to have been a shambolic summer transfer window.

While hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent on transfers in recent years, without great success, that money has come out of club profits, rather than the Glazers' own pockets, which continues to anger fans.

The protest has been given extra impetus by news this week that billionaire United fan Sir Jim Ratcliffe is interested in buying the club.

British businessman Michael Knighton (left) greets fans outside the ground ahead of protest against the Manchester United owners Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

In a statement, the group said: "This is an ownership that is systematically starving and killing the greatest football institution in world football, for greed.

"We can not allow this to happen any longer! This is not about division, this is about unity. All United fans have the right to protest with the 1958 or individually.

"It is not about confrontation. Anything else plays completely into the Glazers hands."

The Manchester United Supporters Trust made a statement on Twitter calling for the "right change" and outlining their vision of new ownership.

Vehicles on Talbot road were being turned around by police Manchester United fans protesting against the Glazer family prepared to walk to Old Trafford in protest.

‘United for $ale’ read a banner stretched across the front of the march that moved slowly and loudly towards Old Trafford, with more supporters joining en route.

Police turn traffic around on Talbot Road as protest heads towards Old Trafford Credit: ITV News/Claire Hannah

Meanwhile there was a strong police presence outside Old Trafford as fans chanted for the Glazers to leave, with banners held aloft and smoke from flares filling the air.

Police outside Old Trafford ahead of an organised protest against the Manchester United owners Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images

The protest reached Old Trafford around 30 minutes before kick-off as relentless chants against the Glazers filled the air.

Meanwhile, Liverpool fans inside the ground sung ‘Up the Glazers’ and brought hundreds of masks of Avram Glazer, United’s executive co-chairman and director.

Protestors set off flares as they gather outside Old Trafford to potest against the Manchester United owners Credit: ITV News/Claire Hannah

With the march finishing near the United ‘Trinity’ statue outside the stadium, where hundreds of fans had already congregated, many Liverpool supporters were held back in a car park by police to avoid trouble.

The demonstration was largely peaceful although there were some isolated incidences of missiles being thrown over the wall separating the protesters from the Liverpool fans.

The problems were quickly quelled by police but, so long did the protest take to clear, that the visiting supporters were kept back until after the game kicked off.

Those Liverpool fans that had made it into the ground early, though, sang ‘Up the Glazers’ and brought out hundreds of masks of Avram Glazer, United’s executive co-chairman and director.

The club confirmed the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro before kick-off, parading the Brazil international on the pitch as applause mixed with anti-Glazer chants.