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Football’s new age of fan power?

As the football season unfolds, will Manchester United’s fans topple its US owners and set a pattern for returning English clubs to their communities?

By Sam Knight   September 2010

Fever pitch: Manchester United supporters protest outside Old Trafford against the Glazer family, the club’s American owners

On a bright morning in July, in football’s brief off-season, the red patch of concrete in front of Old Trafford, Manchester United’s vast, girder-pronged stadium, was almost deserted. A few days earlier and thousands of miles away, England’s static and over-hyped team had been knocked out of the World Cup by Germany. Next to a bronze statue of the United Trinity—the imperious attacking line of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton from the late 1960s—a plump girl, perhaps eight years old, was…

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