Man United protests: Police officer has ‘significant slash wound to his face’ as fans force way into Old Trafford and Liverpool game postponed

Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation after two officers were injured during disturbances at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Manchester United fans broke into the stadium and invaded the pitch in protest at the club’s owners, the Glazer family, forcing the Premier League clash with Liverpool to be postponed.

The protest began peacefully but turned ugly
Around 200 fans managed to get inside the stadium, lettting off flares and causing damage

Police had to quell the protests and two officers were left injured.

One was attacked with a broken bottle, sustaining a significant slash wound to his face and requiring emergency hospital treatment.

GMP assistant chief constable Russ Jackson said it was clear many demonstrators had no intention of protesting peacefully as he condemned their “reckless and dangerous” behaviour.

He added: “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.”

Parts of Old Trafford were damaged
The protests were also marred by violent clashes with police
Two officers were injured during the clashes
Greater Manchester Police have condemned the actions of the violent protestors
The scenes at Old Trafford were chaotic

The protests came in the walk of United’s involvement in the failed European Super League proposals.

United were among 12 clubs that last month signed up for the breakaway competition, which collapsed within 48 hours due to huge, unrelenting pressure.

Those plans brought anger against the already despised Glazer family to a new level, with fans congregating at both Old Trafford and the Lowry, the team hotel in the city centre, to demand change ahead of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.

Police said that by late afternoon around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1,000 at the stadium.

There was an initial unspecified delay to the scheduled 1630 kick-off before confirmation came through from United at 1735 that the match had been postponed “due to safety and security considerations around the protest”.

A United statement read: “Our fans are passionate about Manchester United, and we completely acknowledge the right to free expression and peaceful protest.

“However, we regret the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff, and the police in danger.

“We thank the police for their support and will assist them in any subsequent investigations.”

The Premier League said it understood the fans’ “strength of feeling”, but condemned “all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches”.

It added: “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.”

Liverpool, another founding member of the Super League, said they were in “full agreement” with the postponement.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters made their protest peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.

“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We should all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behaviour of those at the top of the game.”

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