Manchester United’s home game against Liverpool this afternoon has been postponed following earlier protests at Old Trafford.
A statement from Manchester United reads: “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. Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.
Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.
However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger. We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.”
Thousands of Manchester United fans descended on Old Trafford to protest against the clubs’ owners the Glazer Family.
Protesters made their way into the stadium on two occasions.
The first at 2.14 pm this afternoon when fans were first pictured on social media as being on the pitch at Old Trafford.
Within 30 minutes the pitch was clear, as fans left in an orderly fashion.
Although there were reports of fans through objects at the TV presentation stage, Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness commented by saying: “you can not underplay that.”
The second group of fans were spotted by TV cameras in the stands at Old Trafford shortly after 3 pm.
Police stepped in to remove the group from the stadium, and then from the perimeter of the stadium.
Fans have also been spotted protesting at the Manchester United team hotel in the City Centre and the team buses haven’t been able to leave.
Following the postponement, those fans at the team hotel were spotted celebrating.
The Premier League have also released a statement following the postponement, they said: “Following the security breach at Old Trafford, the Manchester United vs. 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. Fans have many channels by which to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.
We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football.
The rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.”
A Liverpool FC spokesperson added: “Liverpool Football Club was in full agreement with the decision to postpone today’s fixture as a result of ongoing events at Old Trafford and the surrounding area.
It was clearly not possible for this to be guaranteed today due to a situation which escalated rapidly.
We will continue to have dialogue with Manchester United, the Premier League and the local authorities to find a suitable date to reschedule.
As soon as we have this information we will update our supporters accordingly.”
(Lead Image Credit: mufctilly/Twitter)