May 16, 2021

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Man Utd denies staff eased Old Trafford protest and worked to identify ‘criminal activity’


Manchester United have rejected reports that club staff allowed fans to enter Old Trafford during Sunday’s protest while the club work with police “to identify those involved in criminal activity”.

United’s match against Liverpool was postponed after demonstrations outside the team’s hotel and then inside the stadium.

Fans currently do not have access to Old Trafford due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a number of individuals gained access to the ground and then the pitch.

Protests were centered around United owners Glazer family, which has long been unpopular and has come under increased control in recent weeks.

Glazers were credited with key roles in attempts to start an unpopular European Super League last month.

United said on Monday they welcomed “peaceful protesters” but claimed entry to Old Trafford came as a result of “criminal damage” which will now be punished.

“After the events of yesterday, while many fans wanted to exercise their right to protest and express their opinion peacefully, some were keen to disrupt the team’s preparation and the game itself, as evidenced by activity at the Lowry Hotel and at the stadium,” a statement said. Read.

“Reports in mainstream and social media that protesters were able to access the stadium and the pitch via a gate opened by the club staff are completely incorrect.

“After breaking through barriers and security in the forecourt, some protesters climbed the gates at the end of the Munich Tunnel and then forced access to a side door in the stand before opening an external door that allowed others to pass through to the assembly area and pitch. .

“Another violation occurred when a Protestant smashed the door of an elevator for the disabled, allowing a group to enter the booth.

“Most of our fans have and will condemn criminal damage along with any violence against club staff, police or other fans, and these are now becoming a police case.

The club has no desire to see peaceful protesters punished, but will work with police to identify those involved in criminal activity and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or identified member under the published sanctions policy. .

Mike Parrott, editor of The United Muppetiers, told Stats Perform News that he condemned the “few minor criminal acts” before adding: “Outside that, I feel like [the protest] went really well.

“It gets their message across that they want change, and they are no longer waiting.

“It’s been what, 16 years now since the Glazers took over. They have been protesting now since before 2010.

“So I feel like they also got the game postponed, was definitely in our favor, because now everyone is talking about it.

“They got their desired effects, and it worked very well, it seemed, especially when 99 percent of it was a peaceful process.”

Neither United nor the Premier League have yet confirmed a new date for the Liverpool match.