A minority of Manchester United fans have now taken their frustrations at the club’s owners out on one of the Red Devils’ reserve team players. Oliver Gill – a 19-year-old centre-half – was booed as his name was read out prior to the club’s home win over Fulham on Sunday. The defender is the son of United’s Chief Executive, David Gill, and had made it onto the substitute’s bench after yet more defensive injuries to the United squad. Fans have grown angry with Gill snr for his support of the Glazers, despite the fact that he opposed their takeover five years ago. But surely this mindless action by a very small number of so-called supporters is going too far?
Reports claim that the youngster has also been jeered and verbally abused at recent reserve fixtures and an interview he was involved in for United’s in-house TV station was also ruined by anti-Glazer chants in the background. There is understandably some ill-feeling towards the Chief Executive’s role in the running of the club and a number of banners have appeared at games this season, one accusing him of “protecting his salary not the club”. Club officials have been concerned for Gill snr’s safety and have called in extra security to the directors’ areas on match-days. But it will be such a shame if the Green and Gold campaign – that has so far been conducted very well – is tarnished in any way by these recent actions.
Oliver Gill has risen through the club’s academy ranks and signed his first professional contract last July after impressing Sir Alex Ferguson with his performances for the reserve team. Ferguson is understandably disappointed with the booing after his recent request for everyone to stay fully behind the team. But, as with all sets of supporters there are always groups out to disrupt the excellent work of the majority of the fan base who, on this occasion, are right behind the team, even while being so fervently against the club’s hierarchy. Gill jnr is now expected to return to the reserves as Jonny Evans and Rafael da Silva look to be fit for Sunday’s match against Liverpool. If the Surrey-born defender does return to the first team fold in the near future it will be interesting to see the type of reception he receives from the Old Trafford faithful.