The true cost of returning fans revealed with sickening chants and abuse
For the first time since March 2020, Premier League stadiums were at full capacity for the opening day of the new Premier League season. While the atmosphere, in most cases, made the experience unforgettable, there were also stark reminders as to why so many tend to avoid fans and stadiums on matchdays.
Leeds and Manchester United fans fighting in the street
One of the biggest rivalries in club football was handed the early kick-off spot on Saturday, as Manchester United hosted Leeds United at Old Trafford.
The atmosphere was expected to be charged, and videos surfaced on social media of a running brawl in Manchester City centre between the two sets of fans, with bins, chairs and other projectiles thrown.
🚨⚽️ | NEW: Another angle of Manchester United and Leeds fans kicking off pic.twitter.com/WpoY1cbVy5
— Football For All (@FootballlForAll) August 14, 2021
“Let your country down”
Meanwhile, Leeds United fans took to abusing two Manchester United players in particular, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, both of whom missed crucial penalties in the Euro 2020 final shootout.
Rashford is feeding their kids.
Shocking from the Leeds fans 👎🏾 pic.twitter.com/x4hqiBvo2E
— STEVO THE MAD MAN (@StevoTheMadMan) August 14, 2021
Leeds fans mock Munich air disaster
Perhaps most sickeningly, Leeds United fans took to chanting about the Munich Air Disaster, a 1958 crash in which 8 Manchester United players and three members of staff died.
It is thought that the travelling fans were provoked by the appearance of a Turkey flag, which was dropped onto their fans by Manchester United fans. This was in reference to their own tragedy, in which two Leeds United fans were killed ahead of a UEFA cup tie against Galatasary in 2000.
Liverpool condemn Gilmour abuse
Liverpool also took to social media to condemn the abuse levelled at the Norwich midfielder Billy Gilmour during their 3-0 win at Carrow Road. Gilmour, on loan from Chelsea, was subjected to audible chants of “Chelsea rent boy” for much of the 90 minutes.
The chant is offensive and inappropriate – a message we have repeatedly communicated alongside Kop Outs.
We urge supporters to remember the inclusive values of the club and to refrain from using it in the future. https://t.co/67Q5SKoa88
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 14, 2021