MANCHESTER: Manchester United’s Premier League match against Liverpool was postponed yesterday after United fans forced their way into the stadium and stormed the Old Trafford pitch to protest against the club’s owners – the Glazer family.
“Following discussion between the 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,” United said in a statement after the game was called off.
“Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture.”
Liverpool issued a statement saying they were in full agreement with the decision.
The protest follows United’s initial decision to join a European Super League along with five other English clubs. The plans for that breakaway league fell apart within days due to widespread opposition.
An hour after the scheduled 1530 GMT kickoff, both sets of players were still stuck in their hotels. The Lowry Hotel, where United’s players were preparing for the match, was also the scene of a large anti-Glazer protest.
Greater Manchester Police said around 100 United fans took to the pitch, some letting off flares and others carrying posters calling for the Glazers to end their ownership of the club they bought in 2005. One young fan was photographed on top of one of the goals.
Police said some United staff locked themselves in rooms.
The match was being played behind closed doors due to Covid-19 restrictions but that did not stop chaotic and ugly scenes inside and outside Old Trafford, which left one police officer requiring emergency treatment after being slashed with a bottle, Greater Manchester Police said.
Media representatives covering the game were kept outside as the stadium was locked down after the fans had been removed.
There was no word on when they match would be played. Second-placed United needed a win to prevent Manchester City being crowned champions on Sunday.