Manchester United fans attack club boss Ed Woodward's home with flares

28 January 2020, 23:02 | Updated: 29 January 2020, 12:58

Manchester United have condemned an "unwarranted attack" on executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, after fans were filmed throwing flares at his home.

Some of the Old Trafford faithful have been disappointed by the club's performance in the Premier League this season and have been directing their ire towards Mr Woodward, who runs the club day to day.

The anger boiled over on Tuesday evening when a group of hooded figures were seen in social media footage chucking red flares over the gate of his home in Cheshire.

Red paint has also reportedly been sprayed at his home.

The club said in a statement: "Manchester United Football Club have tonight been made aware of the incident outside the home of one of our employees.

"We know that the football world will unite behind us as we work with Greater Manchester Police to identify the perpetrators of this unwarranted attack.

"Anybody found guilty of a criminal offence, or found to be trespassing on this property, will be banned for life by the club and may face prosecution.

"Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage and intent to endanger life is another.

"There is simply no excuse for this."

Neither Mr Woodward, his wife or their two young children were present at the property during the time of the attack.

Cheshire Police said they were notified about an incident of criminal damage at around 10.45pm on Tuesday.

"Thankfully no one was harmed and officers will liaise with security officials over the coming days to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and identify those involved," they said in a statement.

Mr Woodward and United's American owners, the Glazer family, have been the subject of increasingly hostile fan protests throughout the season.

During United's 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere at the weekend, some supporters were heard chanting about killing the executive vice-chairman, who earlier on Tuesday appeared to have moved a step closer to securing a £68m deal to sign the Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.

Mr Woodward will hope the arrival of Fernandes will help arrest a slump in form that has seen United lose back-to-back league matches to fall off the pace in the race for a top four finish.

The executive has overseen impressive growth in United's commercial operation during his time at the club - but his promotion to the top job in 2013 coincided with a new era for United following the departures of Sir Alex Ferguson and former chief executive David Gill.

Woodward has appointed four different managers during this time as the club dropped out of regular contention for the Premier League.

The incident at his home came ahead of the second leg of United's League Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side lost 3-1 to the holders at Old Trafford earlier this month and will have to produce an unlikely comeback at the Etihad on Wednesday night if they are to book a place in the final.

The winners will face Aston Villa at Wembley on 1 March after they knocked out Leicester City on Tuesday.

In October 2010, up to 30 balaclava-clad men turned up at Wayne Rooney's then home in Cheshire after the former striker has originally refused to sign a new contract.