In 2005, shortly after the Glazer family completed their purchase of Manchester United, around 300 supporters attended a march to protest the club’s new owners.
Those protests, for a time, continued, with supporters showing their displeasure with signs and the wearing of the club’s original green and gold colours on matchdays.
Sixteen years on, though, and those protests have largely been forgotten, at least outside of United circles.
On Sunday, though, the 2000 or so fans who turned up at Old Trafford insured their voices would be heard, with the scenes that followed ensuring few will forget the events of May 2, and the postponement of United’s clash with old rivals Liverpool.
A fortnight on from the announcement of the ill-fated Super League, supporters arrived in their droves at the Theatre of Dreams, keen to let the Glazers know just what they thought of the part they played in proposing the breakway competition.
‘”Apology not accepted,” read a number of banners, referencing Joel Glazer’s open letter to fans following United’s decision to pull themselves out of the new tournament.
“We want Glazers out,” filled the air, the Super League having reignited a 16-year-old feud that some of those here on Sunday would not have been alive for when it first began. The message was loud, and it was clear.
“It’s a warning to the owners of the football club that ultimately they (the fans) are not going to accept what they have done in the last couple of weeks,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports having seen the hallowed turf on which he enjoyed so much success invaded by the protesting masses.
Whether that warning will be heeded remains to be seen, but surely the Glazers cannot ignore the events of this fateful afternoon.
Given the history of the rivalry, that maybe should be most concerning of all to those who own the world’s biggest clubs.
This, too, is just the beginning. The Glazers and others are set for an uncomfortable end to the season and beyond.