Simon Jordan brands Gary Neville ‘a hypocrite’ over Glazers criticism and hits out at ‘irresponsible’ pundits for trying to justify Man United fan protests

Simon Jordan has criticised Gary Neville as he accused leading football pundits of ‘irresponsibly’ trying to justify the Manchester United fan protests that led to the postponement of Sunday’s game against Liverpool.

The talkSPORT host branded United legend Neville a ‘hypocrite’ over his reaction to the ugly scenes at Old Trafford and insisted: ‘NOTHING justifies that kind of behaviour’.

Man United fans turned up in their thousands to protest the Glazers ahead of Sunday’s planned Premier League game against Liverpool

The Premier League were forced to postpone United’s meeting with rivals Liverpool after a group of fans protested on the pitch and other supporters clashed with police officers as thousands gathered to protest against their owners, the Glazers.

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy told talkSPORT he was ‘saddened’ by the scenes, which have been widely criticised after largely peaceful protests turned nasty.

“I was hoping to come into the show today talking about some good football, looking at some tactical analysis, some great goals, some creative play, some positive encouraging conversation… but, of course, that’s not going to be,” he said.

But Jordan has criticised a number of pundits after they attempted to rationalise the ugly scenes by claiming it happened as a result of 16 years of built-up frustration.

United fans who were present at the rally have also joined talkSPORT over the last 24 hours to defend their right to protest against their unpopular owners, with a Red Devils podcast host telling the station: ‘If you don’t listen to fans, they’ll make sure they’re heard’.

Two Greater Manchester police officers were injured during the clashes outside Old Trafford

Outspoken pundit Jordan, though, insists there is no excuse for fans’ bad behaviour on Sunday.

“Fans are an integral and fundamental part of the game, and they’ve got an absolute right to air their views, but there is a way to do it,” he said on Monday’s White and Jordan show.

“There is a building narrative, and I think some of this was brought on by certain people egging on this outlook, whether it’s the media or certain pundits who have a lot to say for themselves in a very irresponsible fashion…

“We know the blue touch paper was lit by owners trying to take football in a certain way, but that’s the symptom, the disease is something else and it’s money in football, and the need for money to be generated and the greed that pervades football.

“Owners operate in a certain way and fans operate in another, but what you’ve got now are fans stepping across the line. They’re going into training grounds, they’re breaking into stadiums. I don’t care if they were let in by people who work for Manchester United, or they broke in – their actions on that pitch are a discredit to English football.

A clip posted on Twitter showed a flare being thrown towards the Sky pundits as supporters broke into Old Trafford
Sky Sports
Fan protests on the pitch saw Manchester United vs Liverpool postponed
Getty Images

“If you broke into the stadium and the pitch, I don’t think you are fans. If you are a genuine Manchester United fans you must be appalled, embarrassed and feel an element of disgrace for what happened yesterday.

“And I don’t care what people like Gary Neville come out with, calling on a lynch mob and start talking about how there is an entitlement for fans to do this – no way is there an entitlement to attack police officers, no way is there an entitlement to break into a football pitch, climb onto goals, break into hospitality and smash up environments purely and simply because you think you’ve got a cause.

“The cause you’ve got is because you don’t like the people who run your football club, you don’t like the way they purchase the football and you don’t like the fact they tried something that they didn’t get away with… but NOTHING justifies that kind of behaviour.

“There’s an element of justifying what happened. We’ve had pundits saying this has been brought about by 16 years of frustration, that this is an opportunity to mobilise – these are the parts that are very damaging.”

Jordan also accused former United and England defender Neville of hypocrisy over his comments in the wake of the out of control protests.

“Today there is anger and I would hope tomorrow it switches towards mobilisation to reform and regular and behind a fan led review,” said the Sky Sports pundit from Old Trafford on Sunday.

“What I would say is, and might be a little naive here, but these two clubs Manchester United and Liverpool should act like the grandfathers of English football, demonstrating compassion and spreading the wealth throughout the family, their experience, being fair.

“But they haven’t done that, they’ve demonstrated self greed and tried to walk away with all the money themselves and left the family struggling below.”

Gary Neville is never shy to give his opinion as a football pundit, but Simon Jordan has accused him of hypocrisy
Getty Images – Getty

Jordan, though, suggested Neville is guilty of the same thing…

He added: “Gary Neville is a barrack-room lawyer who sits on PFA panels, who says salary caps are something football needs to have, while behind the scenes he’s talking about the fact the PFA should never allow salary caps to try and control football finances.

“The centre of all of this is money, and the irony of this is Manchester United fans will say it’s not about money, but they’re making it about money because the Glazers are taking money out of the club.

“The hypocrisy of the argument that ‘football isn’t all about money’ while you make it all about money, because it’s all about how the Glazers are taking money.

“There is a selfish nature in football and it pervades football full-stop. The Premier League, despite the promotion and relegation system, has decimated english football – 90 per cent of TV revenues go into the Premier League and the other ten per cent is left for the rest.

“Neville sits there advocating independent regulation – why? Because he’s one of the intellectual capitals behind independent regulation with David Bernstein and he wants a seat at the top table.

“The hypocrisy of his ownership of Salford when he’s got a billionaire owner in there who is funding Salford who are, to my mind, losing money left right and centre, who probably breached financial fair play, and all of this is being utilised by Gary Neville to advise a soap box wrapped in hypocrisy.

“Yes, these owners and the ownership models in football right now are flawed, but why are they flawed? Why has it got to this point? Because of the greed across the board in football and the hypocrisy embodied by people like Gary Neville.”