Manchester United game postponed after fan chaos, police clashes

Manchester United’s Premier League match in opposition to Liverpool was postponed on Sunday after United followers forced their way into the stadium and stormed the Old Trafford pitch to protest in opposition to the membership’s house owners — the Glazer household.

“Following discussion between the Police, the Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, our match against Liverpool has been postponed due to safety and security considerations around the protest today,” United mentioned in a press release after the game was known as off.

“Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.”

Liverpool issued a press release saying they have been in full settlement with the choice.

An hour after the scheduled 11:30 a.m. ET kickoff, each units of gamers have been nonetheless caught of their accommodations. The Lowry Hotel, the place United’s gamers have been getting ready for the match, was additionally the scene of a big anti-Glazer protest.

Greater Manchester Police mentioned round 100 United followers took to the pitch, some letting off flares and others carrying posters calling for the Glazers to finish their possession of the membership they purchased in 2005. One younger fan was photographed on high of one of many targets.

Police mentioned some United workers locked themselves in rooms.

The match was being performed behind closed doorways as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions however that didn’t cease chaotic and ugly scenes inside and outdoors Old Trafford, which left one police officer requiring emergency therapy after being slashed with a bottle, Greater Manchester Police mentioned.

Media representatives masking the game, together with Reuters, have been saved exterior because the stadium was locked down after the followers had been eliminated.

In a press release the Premier League mentioned: “Following the safety breach at Old Trafford, the Manchester United versus Liverpool game has been postponed.

“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities. The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance. We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches.”

Manchester United postponed fans police Old Trafford
Manchester United followers conflict with police exterior of Old Trafford on May 2, 2021.
Offside by way of Getty Images

There was no phrase on once they match could be performed. Second-placed United wanted a win to forestall Manchester City being topped champions on Sunday.

While the protest had been deliberate and was largely peaceable, it descended into chaos as followers infiltrated the stadium.

Hundreds of followers additionally gathered exterior the bottom, letting off inexperienced and gold flares — the colors of United’s shirts once they have been shaped as Newton Heath and adopted by those that have commonly protested in opposition to the membership’s hierachy.

Mounted police moved in to attempt to clear the areas exterior the stadium and there have been ugly clashes with bottles and boundaries being thrown at police officers.

Manchester United postponed fans police
Manchester United followers conflict with police exterior of Old Trafford on May 2, 2021.
Action Images by way of REUTERS

“The behavior displayed today by those at both Old Trafford and The Lowry Hotel was reckless and dangerous,” GMP Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson mentioned.

“We understand the passion many supporters have for their team and we fully respect the right for peaceful protest. But it soon became clear that many present had no intention of doing so peacefully.”

The protest follows United’s preliminary determination to hitch a European Super League together with 5 different English golf equipment. The plans for that breakaway league fell aside inside days as a consequence of widespread opposition.

Former United defender Gary Neville, who was a fierce critic of the membership’s determination to hitch the Super League, was within the floor as a part of the Sky Sports commentary workforce.

Manchester United fans Old Trafford Glazers
Manchester United followers protest possession on the sphere at Old Trafford on May 2, 2021.
AFP by way of Getty Images

“The reason why those thousands and thousands of fans came today is because they have had enough. They have had enough,” Neville mentioned.

“We can make the story today about the disturbances and I think that needs to be covered but the story should be about the Man Utd fans. They have had enough. It will be very difficult in the next few months.”

Speaking forward of the protest, United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned: “It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and we communicate better. My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team.”

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