Police officers injured as angry Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford during protest

2 May 2021, 14:45 | Updated: 2 May 2021, 22:21

Manchester United fans storm Old Trafford in Glazers protest

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Two police officers have been injured after Manchester United fans protesting against the club's ownership stormed the pitch at Old Trafford.

The supporters got into the stadium ahead of the Premier League match against Liverpool, which has now been postponed.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said fans "became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police" before "a group of about 100 forced entry".

READ MORE: All six English clubs set for European Super League have withdrawn after fan protests

READ MORE: Major review into English football will look at giving fans a greater say

Police removed those inside the ground but "outside hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses", the force said.

It added: "Two officers have been injured with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment."

Protesters have stormed Old Trafford prior to Manchester United's match against Liverpool
Protesters have stormed Old Trafford prior to Manchester United's match against Liverpool. Picture: PA

GMP assistant chief constable Russ Jackson condemned the behaviour at Old Trafford and a separate protest at The Lowry Hotel in Salford, where the United players were staying, as "reckless and dangerous".

He said: "The actions of those today required us to take officers from front-line policing and call in support from neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse.

"At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers."

Man Utd fan explains purpose of fan march on Old Trafford

United supporters were expressing their anger following plans backed by the Glazer family to join a proposed European Super League, which collapsed soon after.

The plans added to years of discontent and protests from supporters following the controversial takeover by the Glazers in 2005.

The match was initially delayed but Manchester United later confirmed it had been postponed amid safety concerns.

Large numbers of supporters have been protesting before Sunday's game against Liverpool
Large numbers of supporters have been protesting before Sunday's game against Liverpool. Picture: PA

The club said in a statement: "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.

"Discussions will now take place with the Premier League on a revised date for the fixture."

A protest had been planned outside the ground at 2pm, with fans congregating at least an hour before.

It is believed those who gained access to the ground did so via the Munich Tunnel, after pushing down barriers.

A large number of fans ran back out of the stadium complex at around 2.20pm.

Fans break through the barriers outside Old Trafford before storming the stadium
Fans break through the barriers outside Old Trafford before storming the stadium. Picture: PA

The so-called Big Six English football clubs - Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham - withdrew from the controversial European Super League within days of it being announced, following widespread outrage and government threats of legislative action.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared it was "the right result for football fans" as he welcomed the decision of the clubs to pull out last month.

Years of discontent among United supporters has followed the controversial takeover by the Glazers in 2005
Years of discontent among United supporters has followed the controversial takeover by the Glazers in 2005. Picture: PA

Spanish teams Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, and Italian sides AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, were also set to be part of the competition.

However the competition's founder, Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, has now admitted the plans can longer go ahead.

A Liverpool win at Old Trafford would have handed the Premier League title to United's neighbours, Manchester City.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
A migrant boat was returned to France

Border Force returns migrant boat to France for first time in history after refugee dies in the Channel

Sir Geoffrey Boycott was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott’s family issues health update as England legend undergoes cancer surgery

Liz Colfer says pension taxation misses the mark.

Why pension taxation proposals miss the mark

It follows a sharp rise in the number of abusive messages sent via the bank's app.

Santander bans swear words when sending money after abusers use 1p bank transfers to bypass restraining orders

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reacts after the announcement of the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Ursula von Der Leyen wins second term as top EU leader

Sir Ed Davey has been criticised for his time as Post Office minister

Ed Davey says sorry for taking five months to meet Alan Bates and says ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells ‘fed me lies’

The original Bacchus by Giambologna sits in the Bargello museum in Florence

Former Italian cultural minister defends woman who simulated sex with beloved Florence statue

Formal talkjs will begin next week in a bid to end long-running junior doctors strike

Government to begin formal talks with junior doctors to end long-running pay row

Jay Slater and his mum, Debbie Duncan

Jay Slater's mum appeals for funeral donations to give son the 'send-off he deserves'

File photo dated 26/07/23 of Andrew Malkinson. The Criminal Cases Review Commission has offered an 'unreserved apology' for failing Malkinson, who spent 17 years in prison for being wrongly convicted of rape. Issue date: Thursday April 18, 2024.

Wrongly imprisoned Andrew Malkinson 'could have been freed a decade earlier', watchdog finds

Taylor Swift plays to 60,000 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Police arrest suspected Taylor Swift stalker moments before concert kicks off

Pret A Manger has overhauled its coffee subscription plan

Fury as Pret scraps 'too good to be true' £30-a-month coffee subscription in favour of new scheme

Di Prima has been axed from Strictly Come Dancing amid the allegations against him.

Axed Strictly star Graziano Di Prima returns to £6 an hour job amid allegations he 'hit and kicked' dance partner Zara McDermott

British trainee barrister, 26, goes missing in Majorca after flatmate 'threatens to have men sort him out'

British trainee barrister, 26, goes missing in Majorca after flatmate 'threatens to have men sort him out'

The government 'failed its citizens', the Covid Inquiry has found

Government ‘failed its citizens’, Covid Inquiry finds as ‘major overhaul’ of emergency planning needed

Keir Starmer has been welcoming EU leaders at the European Political Community summit in Oxfordshire

Starmer warns ‘criminal empire is at work’ as he urges European leaders to tackle people smuggling ‘crisis’