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UK News

Man Utd say fans broke barriers and climbed gates to storm pitch – and deny staff allowed access

today03/05/2021

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Manchester United have denied staff allowed fans onto the Old Trafford pitch during Sunday’s protests, saying demonstrators broke through barriers, climbed gates and smashed the door of a disability access lift.

Several hundred fans stormed the pitch to demonstrate against the club’s American owners before United’s scheduled game against Liverpool on Sunday, which eventually had to be postponed for safety reasons.

Two officers were injured during the protests, including one who needed emergency treatment for a “significant slash wound to his face” after being attacked with a bottle, Greater Manchester Police said.

Slashed officer
Image: Footage showed a police officer with a slash wound to his face. Pic: Sky Sports / @ManUtdReports

In a statement posted on their website, United said reports that protesters “were able to access the stadium and pitch via a gate opened by club staff are completely incorrect”.

The Premier League club said that “while many fans wanted to exercise their right to protest and express their opinion peacefully, some were intent on disrupting the team’s preparation and the game itself”.

“After breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protesters climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel, then forced access to a side door in the stand, before opening an external door that let others through to the concourse area and the pitch,” the statement read.

Soccer Football - Manchester United fans protest against their owners before the Manchester United v Liverpool Premier League match - Manchester, Britain - May 2, 2021 Manchester United fans on the pitch in protest against their owners before the match Action Images via REUTERS/Carl Recine TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Image: United denied that staff allowed fans to access the ground

“A second breach occurred when a protester smashed the door of a disability access lift, enabling a group to enter the stand.

More from Manchester

“The majority of our fans have and will condemn criminal damage, along with any violence towards club staff, police or other fans, and these now become a police matter.”

United said the club had “no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified”.

The club said a new date for the fixture with Liverpool will be announced after talks with the Premier League.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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