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UK News Old Trafford protest: Police launch investigation after two officers injured in clashes with Man Utd fans

12:45  03 may  2021
12:45  03 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Manchester United ’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford has been postponed after some protesters against the Glazer family broke into the stadium and entered the pitch. Manchester United ’s game with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday was postponed after a planned peaceful protest outside the stadium by fans angry with the club’s owners, the Glazers, spilled into chaotic and violent scenes as a group of about 100 broke into the ground, causing criminal damage and forcing some staff to lock themselves into rooms for safety.

Manchester United fans broke into Old Trafford and invaded the pitch, causing the game to be called off. Officers were aware of a protest planned to take place in Old Trafford today (Sunday 2 May) and were working closely alongside partners to ensure those that attended were kept safe whilst enabling their right to peaceful protest . Early this afternoon, groups of protestors began to gather at Old Trafford and separately at The Lowry Hotel, Salford where the United players were staying.

a group of people standing around a fire: Police clash with Man Utd fans protesting at the Glazer family's ownership (Photo: Getty) © Provided by The i Police clash with Man Utd fans protesting at the Glazer family's ownership (Photo: Getty)

Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation into the protest at Old Trafford after two officers were injured in clashes with football fans.

The force said one officer suffered a “significant slash wound to his face” after being attacked with a bottle.

The protest on Sunday led to Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Liverpool being postponed after a group of supporters broke into the stadium and forced their way onto the pitch.

Assistant chief constable Russ Jackson claimed many demonstrators had no intention of protesting peacefully as he condemned their “reckless and dangerous” behaviour.

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Manchester United fans ’ protests against the club’s owners descended into chaos after Old Trafford was stormed and policemen were attacked, leading to the fixture with Liverpool being postponed and the club facing an FA investigation . With fans furious with the Glazers attempting to join the breakaway European Super League, pundits including Gary Neville and Roy Keane expect more unrest after fans managed to stop one of the biggest games in the English football calendar. The Football Association will also launch an investigation into the postponement and will liase with the police and

A Manchester United club statement read: "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. "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.

He added: “The actions of those today required us to take officers from front-line policing and call in support from neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse. At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers.”

ACC Jackson confirmed the force had launched an investigation to “ensure we establish the full circumstances surrounding today’s events and prosecute those responsible”.

Why fans were protesting

United were among 12 clubs that last month signed up for the breakaway European Super League, which collapsed within 48 hours due to huge opposition.

Those plans brought anger against the already despised Glazer family to a new level, with fans congregating at both Old Trafford and the Lowry, the team hotel in the city centre, to demand change ahead of the game.

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The Premier League fixture between Man Utd and Liverpool has been postponed after fans broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch in extraordinary scenes. A Manchester United club statement read: "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.

The Premier League fixture between Man Utd and Liverpool has been postponed after fans broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch in extraordinary scenes. A Manchester United club statement read: "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.

Police said that by late afternoon around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1,000 at the stadium.

a group of people in uniform: One fan falls behind police lines as officers push back the protest at Old Trafford (Photo: AFP) © Provided by The i One fan falls behind police lines as officers push back the protest at Old Trafford (Photo: AFP)

There was an initial unspecified delay to the scheduled 4.30pm kick-off before confirmation came through from United at 5.35pm that the match had been postponed “due to safety and security considerations around the protest”.

A club statement read: “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.”

The Premier League said it understood the fans’ “strength of feeling”, but condemned “all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches”.

Officer has face slashed as Man Utd anti-Glazer protests force Liverpool game to be postponed

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Manchester United 's Premier League game against Liverpool at Old Trafford has been postponed following protests against the Glazer family. Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane react to the news that the Manchester Utd v Liverpool game has been postponed after fans protested inside Old Trafford ahead of the game. Two police officers were injured during Sunday's demonstrations, with one hospitalised after "sustaining a significant slash wound to his face", according to Greater Manchester Police .

Manchester United fans force Liverpool match to be POSTPONED after hundreds of protestors BROKE IN to Old Trafford to demand Glazers sell the club, before policeman is slashed with bottle in violent clashes outside the stadium. Hundreds of Manchester United supporters stormed the pitch at Old Trafford ahead of their game against Liverpool in protest at the club's American owners, the Glazer family, before clashing with police in ugly scenes. Greater Manchester Police have confirmed two officers have been left injured with one officer being 'attacked with a bottle and sustaining a

It added: “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.”

Liverpool, another founding member of the Super League, said they were in “full agreement” with the postponement.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.

“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.”

Manchester United Supporters Trust wants the Government to act to prevent single private shareholders holding majority ownerships in football clubs.

It said in a statement: “On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an ‘apology’ from the Glazers which we do not accept, we need to give fans a meaningful share in the ownership of United and a meaningful voice in how it is run.

“The Government now needs to act. That has to mean a process which results in fans having the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more to the point no single private shareholder holding a majority ownership of our football clubs which allows them to abuse that ownership.”

Additional reporting by the Press Association

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