Manchester United fans storm the Old Trafford Pitch
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Manchester United staged a huge anti-Glazer protest outside of Old Trafford ahead of their proposed clash with Liverpool, with over 10,000 thought to be in attendance. They also broke into the stadium and stood on the pitch. Some supporters also gathered outside of the team’s hotel in the city centre, lighting smokebombs and chanting anti-Glazer songs.
Man Utd protest – how the day unfolded
Premier League statement
“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.
“The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance.
“We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches.
“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.”
Manchester United’s clash with Liverpool has officially been called off.
Former Liverpool star Stan Collymore was the first to tweet about the postponement.
He tweeted: “Premier League executives, club officials, match officials all understand the game is postponed.
“Waiting on anything regarding reschedule time and date.”
A heavy police presence, which includes horses and a helicopter, is pushing the protestors back.
Referee Michael Oliver has made it into the stadium and the majority of fans are starting to leave the area.
Things are finally starting to look like the match will go ahead, but we just need the two teams to arrive.
New kick-off time
Liverpool legend Stan Collymore claims there is a meeting between Man Utd, Liverpool and Premier League representatives at 4pm.
He adds that an “aspirational” kick-off time of 6.30pm has been penned in.
Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves claims the match has been delayed. No new kick-off time has yet been set.
Man Utd fans protested outside of the team’s hotel (Image: Twitter)
Over 10,000 Man Utd fans are expected to protest outside of Old Trafford (Image: GETTY)
Team news claxon
Despite neither team having left their hotel, the Premier League has released team news.
Man Utd starting XI: Henderson, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford.
Liverpool starting XI: Alisson, Robertson, Kabak, Philips, Alexander-Arnold; Fabino, Thiago, Milner; Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Referee turned away
Sky Sports News claim that referee Michael Oliver has been turned away from the ground!
Premier League stance
The Premier League are confident that the team sheets will be submitted as planned at 3.30pm – despite that being minutes away.
They reckon the game will go ahead as scheduled but Sky Sports worry that the clash will be called off.
Fans back on the pitch!
A second group of supporters have breached the police lines yet again and are back on the Old Trafford pitch.
Former Liverpool star Stan Collymore claims that both clubs have been told that it could take an hour for the stadium to become safe.
Man Utd fans carried smoke grenades during their protest (Image: REUTERS/Carl Recine)
Referee and teams yet to arrive
Referee Michael Oliver has yet to arrive at Old Trafford with a little over an hour to go until kick-off.
United and Liverpool team coaches have also yet to arrive.
Team sheets are supposed to be handed into the referee one hour before kick-off but that is highly unlikely to happen.
That casts doubts over whether this match will kick-off on time.
Fans leave the pitch
The cones and footballs, which had already been placed on the pitch in preparation for the two teams’ warm-ups, have been displaced by fans.
Old Trafford chiefs came up with a cunning way to quickly get them to leave – by turning on the sprinklers!
Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves is pitch side and reckons there are doubts over whether the match will kick-off as scheduled at 4.30pm.
“There has to be a question mark on whether this game will go ahead on time,” he said.
Fan invade Old Trafford pitch
Manchester United fans have broken into Old Trafford and are now protesting on the pitch.
There is a heavy police presence outside of the ground but a number of fans have made it inside the stadium.
There are also large protests outside of United’s team hotel which could delay the kick-off.
An unoccupied coach is sat outside of the Lowry Hotel which is expected to take the players to Old Trafford.
Why are Man Utd fans protesting?
United fans are angry because their owners agreed for the club to join a European Super League.
The exclusive tournament planned to pit the best teams against each other on a regular basis without promotion or relegation.
Supporter uproar saw all six Premier League clubs withdraw from the competition just 48 hours after the initial announcement.
But fans are so furious over the Glazers’ greed that they want them out of the club.
Man Utd fans also made it into the stands (Image: GETTY)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s view
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about the protest ahead of the match and he said: “It’s important that the fans’ views are listened to and we communicate better.
“My job is to focus on the football side and that we have the best possible team.
“As I’ve said before, I’ve been backed, I’ve had great support from the club and the owners and I’m sure I will get the backing again to go one step further.
“But I’m so happy all the clubs have agreed that this shouldn’t be the way of moving forward. Then again, when the protests are on, it’s important they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful.
“The players are focused on the game and nothing else. They’ve handled difficult situations before.”
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