Manchester United issue statement denying staff let protestors into ground

Manchester United have released a statement which amongst other things, denies that staff let protestors into the ground ahead of Sunday’s postponed fixture with Liverpool.

On two occasions, protestors managed to gain access to the stadium and the pitch, with some reports on social media claiming that ground staff had allowed access through a gate.

A second gathering of fans had also blocked the team bus from being able to leave the Lowry hotel, where the United squad stay before home games.

In a statement on the club website, United denied that any member of staff had opened a gate for protestors, explaining how groups were able to make their way through the stadium.

“Following events yesterday, 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, as evidenced by activity at the Lowry Hotel and at the stadium.”

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

“After breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protestors 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.”

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

“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. The club has 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, per the published sanctions policy.

“Information on the rescheduling of the game and any possible implication on other fixtures will be announced after discussion and agreement with the Premier League.

“We remain committed to dialogue and engagement with our fans through the Fans Forum and other appropriate channels.”

United fans’ feelings towards the Glazer family have been no secret since the moment the American family controversially took over the club in 2005. After United’s inclusion in the European Super League plans, Joel Glazer shared a rare open letter, apologising for their misjudgment.

At the time, that letter was widely dismissed and this past weekend is another clear indication of the general mood at Old Trafford towards the club’s ownership.

Featured image credit: Getty