A planned Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool to be held on Sunday was postponed due to fan protests. These protests took place outside Old Trafford, Manchester United’s iconic stadium. During the protests, United fans voiced their dissatisfaction about members of the Glazer family who own the club.
The protests began at 1pm local time, well before the planned kickoff time of 4:30pm. Many protesters showed up with banners and flares but no more than these items. This was because the protests were originally intended to be non-violent. However, the situation escalated rapidly after many fans forced their way into the stadium and invaded the pitch.
Several fans even attempted to enter the dressing rooms as part of the protests. In total, around 1,000 fans participated in the protests. These protests led to an official announcement made at 5:35pm which confirmed that the match had been postponed.
Premier League authorities issued a statement regarding these protests and the match’s subsequent postponement. The Premier League said the following: “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. We sympathize with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football.”
Manchester United released an official club statement of their own. It read as follows: “Following discussion between 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.”
Several of the protesters on Sunday were involved in incidents with police officers. According to statements from Greater Manchester Police, many of the protesters intended to turn the protest into a non-peaceful one. The police added that some even threw objects such as barriers and bottles at police officers.
Two police officers suffered injuries during the protests. One did so after being attacked with a bottle. Another sustained a slash wound to his face. The latter of the two officers required emergency hospital treatment for the slash wound.
3rd May 2021 14:56
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