Starmer: Football fans are sick and tired of disinterested club owners

Elizabeth Arnold, PA Political Staff
·2-min read

Football fans are “sick and tired of disinterested owners whose only focus is on money and not on the game of football” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Speaking about football and Manchester United’s fans during a campaign visit to Pontefract in West Yorkshire, Sir Keir said “disinterest…in the views of fans by owners” was “further evidence that we need that fans-based review”.

His comments came after Manchester United’s match against Liverpool was postponed on Sunday after a peaceful planned protest escalated into violence and an invasion of the Old Trafford pitch.

The protests followed the aborted attempt by the Premier League’s Big Six along with three clubs each from Italy and Spain to launch a European Super League on April 18.

Sir Keir said: “I think I speak for all football fans when I say that all football fans are sick and tired of disinterested owners whose only focus is on money and not on the game of football, and this is further evidence that we need that fans-based review that we’ve been asking for, for 10 years, because this disinterest, I think, in the views of fans by owners is something that is felt very, very deeply by football fans.”

The Government’s response to the ESL news was to launch its fan-led review, which supporters’ groups hope will lead to changes in the governance of the game.

On the weekend’s protests, Sir Keir added: “Football fans are angry and I completely understand the anger, particularly at the breakaway proposal, but also at the broader sense that money, money, money is the only focus in football and not the game itself.

“That having been said, feeling angry and wanting to protest does not justify criminal behaviour. Everybody can protest, everybody can make their views heard, but they don’t and they shouldn’t break the law to do it.”

The purpose of United fans’ peaceful protests on Sunday was to speak out against the owners, the Glazer family, and try to hit them in the pocket.