Solskjaer on protests: You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise Man Utd have issues to deal with
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it is clear for everyone to see that Manchester United and their fans are having issues in their relationship that need addressed.
On Sunday, the scheduled Premier League clash between Man Utd and Liverpool at Old Trafford was sensationally called off due to protests outside, and then inside, the ground by disgruntled fans unhappy at the ownership of the club under the Glazer family.
Though there has been tensions between the fans and the Glazers for 15 years now since the Americans took over, things reached boiling point on Sunday following the recent news that Man Utd had planned on taking the club into a European Super League without the knowledge or blessing of the fanbase.
Solskjaer recognised the need for relationships to be rebuilt and the fans’ right to protest, but says the line was crossed when things became violent.
“It was a difficult day for us. Of course, we wanted to play, to beat Liverpool for the fans. Our job is getting good results on the pitch,” the Norwegian said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“But as I said before the game, we have to listen, to hear the fans’ voice.
“It’s everyone’s right to protest but it has to be in a civilised manner. But unfortunately when you break in, when police officers are scarred for life, that’s a step too far.
“Then it’s a police matter, it’s not about showing your opinions anymore. Of course, my focus has to be on the results.
“But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see we have challenges to be dealt with. Other individuals have started communicating with fans’ groups, which is going to be massive for us going forward.
“I would be sad if all the good work the players have gone got disrupted. Our focus is on playing well and getting to a final now.”
‘Man Utd need to communicate better’
Solskjaer believes there is also an opportunity to create a better communication between the club and the fans, and asked that supporters judge them by how they play on the pitch as well as matters off it.
“Of course we want to listen. It has to be in a peaceful manner, it’s important,” he insisted.
“Please voice your opinions. We know as a club we need to communicate better. I can refer back to the apologies, it came out wrong and it was the wrong thing to do.
“I know our fans want a team that is likeable, playing attacking football, scoring goals, winning trophies and being humble — that can identify back with them.
“My job is the results. We want to get back to winning trophies, we haven’t won for a while and that’s something we’re working on. I’m sure fans can see what the players are doing.”
Man Utd will take on Roma in the second leg of their Europa League semi final tie against the Italian giants on Thursday, leading 6-2 from the first leg last week.