Old Trafford's shameful scenes sum up sham season: Richard Buxton
Man United v Liverpool postponed after fans invade Old Trafford before fixture
Last night's scenes at Old Trafford summed up what has been a shambolic season.
This English Premier League campaign was already hurtling towards farce long before Manchester United fans took to the field ahead of their team's clash with Liverpool, which was subsequently postponed.
Covid cancellations caused by coronavirus outbreaks and VAR (video assistant referee) inconsistencies have helped a top flight which once prided itself on being the self-proclaimed "best league in the world" become a laughing stock.
But the chaos inside the Theatre of Dreams in the prelude to one of football's most-anticipated contests simply cemented the legacy of a season which most will want to forget.
Several hundred Red Devils fans managed to venture inside the stadium and step out onto the pitch in protest of the Glazer family's continued mismanagement of their club.
They outwitted Old Trafford's slack security to step onto the hallowed turf carrying flares and banners in hopes of sending a resounding message to their absentee owners.
Kick-off between the fallen EPL champions and their second-placed superiors was delayed and subsequently postponed while referee Michael Oliver reportedly found himself turned away by security in the hours leading up to the eventual non-event.
Neither team had left their respective pre-match hotels an hour before the game was due to begin, by which point, police had only dispersed protesters assembled outside.
Those who set out to make a statement succeeded in their aim - the eyes of the world found themselves transfixed on a different kind of spectacle to the one they had originally been promised by multiple broadcasters and marketing men alike.
Instead, they were treated to the cause and effect of the European Super League plot.
Despite the planned breakaway lasting just days, the shady backroom deal concocted by this fixture's key protagonists in the Glazers and Anfield counterparts Fenway Sports Group has unleashed a Pandora's box for armies of disenfranchised fans.
Many are no longer willing to sit idly by and allow their American overlords to strip away their lifeblood through a series of shameless, anti-competitive power grabs.
Appetite for meaningful change is still not universal across the footballing landscape.
It never has been, in truth.
Barely 15 years ago, most United fans were happy to unconditionally ride Sir Alex Ferguson's tidal wave of success while some Kopites were actively pounding the pavements to remonstrate against Tom Hicks and George Gillett's purchase of their club.
Those roles have since reversed, with a domestic drought forcing the Stretford End into action against the Glazers.
Their arch-rivals are, meanwhile, refusing to hold FSG to the same standards as their predecessors, on account of a renewed stream of silverware.
There has been some repudiation of FSG by the likes of the Spirit of Shankly supporters group, but two weekends ago, Juergen Klopp's side were politely applauded into Anfield just days after numerous statements decrying the Reds' demise were being hung outside it.
That dichotomy merely reflected a season that has felt increasingly like a fever dream.
Fans, as a whole, have never felt more disconnected from football since games went behind closed doors some 14 months ago.
The pandemic itself did not set this season's ugly scenes in motion. It has merely accelerated the process.
Everyone connected with the game will hope, and believe, that some normality will resume once supporters can finally return to games from the beginning of next season.
Right now, that vision appears both utopian and further away than ever before.