Manchester United v Liverpool postponed after fans invaded Old Trafford pitch during Glazer protest

Manchester United’s Premier League home game against Liverpool has been postponed after fans invaded Old Trafford pitch in the hours leading up to the game on Sunday during a protest. The game was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. ET (4:30 p.m. BST). The Premier League will confirm another date for the game “in due course”. Dozens of Manchester United fans have taken to Old Trafford grounds in a protest against club owners, the Glazer family.

Images on social media showed individuals hanging from the crossbar and setting off flares on the pitch after thousands of supporters gathered outside Old Trafford to express their displeasure with the Glazers, who were there ‘one of the main drivers of the Super League proposals which collapsed last. month.

“Following discussions between the police, the Premier League, the Trafford Council and the clubs, our game against Liverpool has been postponed for security reasons around today’s protest. Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for set-up, “Manchester United said in a statement.” Our fans are passionate about Manchester United and we fully recognize the right to free speech and peaceful protest.

“However, we regret the disruption of the team and the actions which put other supporters, staff and police at risk. We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any further investigation.”

Protesters only left the pitch an hour or so before the initially scheduled kick-off of a match where only a win for United would have kept their rivals Manchester City from winning the Premier League title. It’s an important derby with Liverpool also needing a win to maintain their Champions League qualification hopes.

Both teams had not left their hotels for the match by the time the match was postponed. Fans had also gathered at the Lowry Hotel, where United players gather ahead of the home matches at Old Trafford. Photos from the site showed the bus waiting to pick up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team and surrounded by police officers.

In a statement, the Premier League said it had taken “a collective decision on the part of the police, the two clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.

“The safety and security of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance,” said the Premier League. “We understand and respect the force of sentiment, but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespassing, especially given the violations associated with COVID-19. Fans have many channels to make their views known, but the actions of a minority seen today have no justification.

“We sympathize with the police and stewards who have had to deal with a dangerous situation which should not have its place in football. The reorganization of the match will be communicated in due course.”

Liverpool also issued a statement, saying they were “fully in favor” of postponing the game.

“We believe that public safety must be the number one factor in such a decision, with the ability to provide a secure environment for participants, staff and officials being a particular priority,” said Liverpool. “It was clearly not possible for this to be guaranteed today due to a situation which rapidly worsened.”

Finding a date on which to schedule this fixture could be complex for the Premier League with United due to playing midweek matches every week between now and the penultimate week of the season on May 15, with matches expected be reorganized to allow supporters to go to the pitch for the last two rounds of matches. There is a priority for England sides to play on Monday night before a Europa League game on Thursday – Arsenal did so at the end of October 2019 – but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have to travel to Rome for the second leg of ‘a semi-final in which she has a 6-2 advantage.

This is the latest in a series of football fan protests since the breakout Super League was announced a fortnight ago, a six-club Premier League proposal that collapsed in 48 hours on background of universal condemnation in England. The fury of Chelsea fans turned to jubilation when news of their withdrawal from the competition broke ahead of a home game against Brighton and Hove Albion while Arsenal’s home game against Everton saw around 2,000 supporters come together. rally outside Emirates Stadium to call on owner Stan Kroenke to sell the club. . It is the first game to be postponed due to fan protests since the Super League proposal.

United have already seen Executive Vice President Ed Woodward leave the club amid the Super League collapse, but supporters are demanding the Glazers, an American family who bought the club in 2005, to sell. Many Old Trafford supporters wore green and gold scarves reflecting Manchester United’s forerunner Newton Heath FC and a popular image around which disillusioned fans have rallied in recent years.

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