Manchester United go up against Burnley at Old Trafford without the Glazers in the spotlight for the first time in a few years.
The Americans were booed during the same fixture in December 2019 and again in April when news of the European Super League broke. They’ve since tried to mend relations with fans, though the wounds remain raw.
When Manchester United lost 2-0 to Burnley two years ago, it was a dark and gloomy night at Old Trafford.
Supporters immediately vented their fury in the aftermath. Not towards Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the man who oversaw the defeat, but the Glazers instead.
United fans had grown tired of their team blowing hot and cold, pining for the same consistency they had under Sir Alex Ferguson.
And they made it clear they’ll never like the Glazers, who they see as the villains behind their slump.
Then, when United met Burnley in the same fixture earlier this year, the Glazers were again in the spotlight.
Hours earlier their plans for a European Super League had hit the headlines, leading to supporters to make it clear how strongly they opposed them.
The Glazers didn’t just blindside United fans with the arrangement, which was then scrapped as fans from all clubs grouped together to make their voices heard.
They also rocked Solskjaer by having Ed Woodward only inform the Norwegian over the plans just minutes before the game got underway.
Now, United face off against Burnley tonight.
Yet fans can’t blame the Glazers if they lose this evening because, since the European Super League debacle, they’ve started to get their act together.
It is long overdue, but worth acknowledging nonetheless. Rangnick, unlike Solskjaer, can’t hide behind the faces of brothers Joel and Avram Glazer.
It was they who decided to axe Solskjaer last month.
While it was clear the 48-year-old was out of his depth, it was still a strong statement that they wanted the best thing possible for the team.
Solskjaer’s sacking was the Glazers’ most brutal yet. Especially when you consider his popularity with not just the fans, but the players too.
He was given less of a season than predecessors Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes. Mourinho was axed in December 2018 yet Solskjaer was handed his P45 even sooner, at the end of November following a 4-1 defeat to Watford.
Then, there’s the steps they’ve taken to mend relations.
At the start of December, it was announced that United had announced the membership of a new Fans’ Advisory Board.
In the statement releasing this, it was clear this was to help bridge the gap between the Glazers, at the top of the hierarchy, and supporters at the bottom.
“Seven fan representatives from a range of backgrounds have been appointed to the FAB, on a voluntary basis, to provide counsel to club leaders and create a new channel for consultation with fans,” it read.
“The FAB will be co-chaired by Christopher Saad, an experienced barrister and life-long Manchester United fan, and Richard Arnold, the club’s Group Managing Director.”
They also added: “The FAB is designed to create a channel for in-depth board-level consultation, with a focus on long-term strategic issues, including stadium development. It will operate in parallel with the Fans’ Forum, which will continue to focus on operational issues affecting fans.
“Two members of the Fans’ Forum, Ian Stirling and Rick McGagh, have been elected by fellow Forum members to join the FAB, ensuring a strong connection between the two bodies.
“Also on the FAB will be Jonathan Deitch and Duncan Drasdo, Chair and Chief Executive of MUST, respectively.
“The other two fan places will be taken by Deborah Henry, Chair of the Manchester United Women’s Supporters’ Club, and Oli Winton, a senior communications consultant and long-time United fan activist.
“Joel Glazer, the club’s Co-Chairman, will attend the inaugural meeting in January.”
The decision to create such a role is a sign the Glazers are willing to listen, which they weren’t two years ago.
And there’s more to come, too.
Last week, it was revealed United want to modernise Old Trafford – with their famous arena starting to show signs of wear and tear.
They are also mulling over whether to build a second stadium for their women’s team and academy.
United have already chosen a master planner to oversee what’s been described as a ‘fundamental redevelopment’ of their Carrington training base as well.
And that means the Glazers are planning to be committed to the club for the foreseeable future, at least.
They’ve made plenty of errors during their time in the power positions at United.
But, for the first time in years, their home match with Burnley won’t be overshadowed by their name doing the rounds.