Manchester United v Liverpool delayed after fans invade Old Trafford in protest

Manchester United v Liverpool delayed after fans invade Old Trafford in protest

Manchester United, Old Trafford , Liverpool , harbouchanews

Manchester United’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon has been delayed after some individuals broke into the stadium and entered the pitch, with the team coach’s departure from the Lowry hotel in the city centre put back.

At just past 2pm about 200 individuals are believed to have made their way into the stadium, some carrying flares, with a corner flag being taken from the pitch and paraded outside. Images and videos of the protest also showed one person hanging off the crossbar of a goal. It is believed those who gained access to the ground did so via the Munich Tunnel, after pushing down barriers, despite the attempts of security guards to prevent that happening. A large number of fans ran back out of the stadium complex at around 2.20pm.

Supporter unrest at the Glazers’ ownership has been further heightened after the club’s planned membership of the now defunct European Super League. The United co-owner Joel Glazer, who was named the ESL vice-chairman when the announcement was made, apologised to the fans in an open letter after they withdrew from the project.

However, that apology seems to have been rejected by the club’s supporter base, with a group of around 20 fans having also gained access to United’s Carrington training base last month. “This is the consequence of the owners of Manchester United’s actions two weeks ago,” said former United defender Gary Neville on Sky Sports. “There’s a general distrust and dislike of the owners, but people weren’t protesting before this happened. Generally, the Glazer family along with a number of other owners of football clubs in this country were conniving and scheming behind everyone’s back to walk away with the crown jewels. Today we’ve seen people protest at that.”

Neville added: “I think it would be the right thing to do for the Glazers to sell. Whether they will is another matter. I’ve seen the 50+1 protests - I don’t think that’s implementable in English football, as great as it potentially would be. What I do think is achievable in English football at this time if that every fan in this country - whether it’s an EFL club or a National League club that’s struggling abnd dying like you wouldn’t believe, whether it’s grassroots facilities in the community and you can’t afford to keep your pitches in a good state, whether you’re the 14 Premier League clubs outside the top six - you really know that you’re in danger from those six.”

Pictures showed the coach due to take Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his squad to Old Trafford halted outside the Lowry with banks of uniformed police surrounding it. They still had not left 90 minutes before the original 4.30pm kick-off and Liverpool’s squad also remained at their hotel after advice from the police.

At around 3.40pm, the Premier League confirmed that the match would still go ahead with a delayed start but could not confirm when. The media are currently being kept at a distance at the back of the Stretford End while searches continue inside Old Trafford for fans who entered the stadium.

“After the security breach at Old Trafford we can confirm the Manchester United v Liverpool match will not kick-off at 16:30,” said the statement. “The safety of everyone at Old Trafford is paramount.At present there is no revised kick-off time. We will update accordingly.”

If United lose to Liverpool then Manchester City will be crowned champions after their victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

the guardian

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