LONDON: Manchester United fans will dress in black at today's FA Cup final against Arsenal to mourn the club's takeover by US financier Malcolm Glazer.
Some supporters have advocated radical action, such as a pitch invasion at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but fans' groups fear a major incident would be a huge own goal for the club at English soccer's showpiece occasion.
“One of the core issues for United fans is that Glazer will show no respect to our club's history and tradition, so it would be remiss of fans to do anything that could taint such an intrinsic part of English football's tradition,” the groups said in a statement.
Fans opposed to Glazer, who is paying £790 million (US$1.5 billion) for United, say he knows nothing about football and will cream off the profits of the world's richest soccer club to pay off his huge debts in purchasing the club.
“We are asking for fans to wear black to mark the death of our club and regard this match as the last to be played whilst the spirit of Manchester United was still alive,” said Colin Hendrie of the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association.
A coalition of supporters' groups including IMUSA has issued a statement calling for peaceful protest at the game. Fans burned Glazer's effigy and stopped traffic in Manchester after the takeover was announced last week.