Rio Ferdinand says the Glazers are even more detached from reality than he first thought

Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand has had his say on the protests at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, he was clear not to condone violence but he supported the message of the supporters.

He said he could not be any other way than with the fans, against the owners of the club despite their recent apology.

Ferdinand said that was never going to be good enough and the issue can’t be swept under the carpet any more.

Anthony Devlin/Offside via Getty Images

“I’m with the fans. I can’t be any other side of the line,” said Ferdinand. “I’m not condoning violence but these fans have been shunted to one side. You treat them like that, you get a response.

“You think that an apology is going to do the job? That it’ll be swept under the carpet. It’s not. What these guys (the Glazers) did was an absolute liberty.

“If they ever thought that would happen then they’re even more detached from realism than I thought at the beginning. If you want change in any industry, protest happens. If you’re surprised, you’re crazy.

“I stand shoulder to shoulder with the fans and with my hand on my heart, I can’t say the fans were wrong. The owners were the ones who got it wrong.”

Anthony Devlin/Offside via Getty Images

It’s good to see such a high profile figure coming out in support of the anti-Glazer message.

Sky Sports were happy to back the anti-Super League protests, but as soon as it meant they suffered because Sunday’s game was called off, the mask slipped with the exception of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Ferdinand clearly hasn’t lost his nerve and is happy to lend his voice in support of the protesters, which is exactly what the movement needs to keep the momentum up.

As a former captain of the club, who played through the Glazer era, Ferdinand knows the situation more intimately than most and he knows changes are long overdue.

Let’s hope Sunday’s protests were just the beginning and the support of former skippers Ferdinand and Neville improves the chances of that happening.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.