Manchester United have filed a complaint to the Independent Press Standards’ Organisation (IPSO) in relation to the recent attack on Ed Woodward’s home.
Executive vice-chairman Woodward recently found his home under attack from protesters, who threw flares over the gates in what the club described as an ‘unwarranted attack’.
A club statement at the time read: “Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage and intent to endanger life is another. There is simply no excuse for this.”
Now, the club have complained to the UK’s print media regulator, IPSO, by alleging that The Sun had prior knowledge of the attack.
Manchester United allege that the newspaper knew about the attack in advance, and had a reporter on scene, which “both encouraged and rewarded the perpetrators.”
A new club statement states: “Manchester United has made a formal complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) regarding the Sun newspaper and its coverage of the attack on the house of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
“The complaint relates to the story ‘Ed Devils: Man Utd fans throw flares at Ed Woodward’s house in shocking scenes as anti-board protests continue to escalate’ carried online and on the back page of the print edition dated 29 January 2020. The club believes that the Sun had received advance notice of the intended attack, which included criminal damage and intent to intimidate, and that the journalist was present as it happened.
“The quality of the images accompanying the story indicate that a photographer was also present. Not only did the journalist fail to discharge the basic duty of a responsible member of society to report an impending crime and avert potential danger and criminal damage, his presence both encouraged and rewarded the perpetrators. We believe this was a clear breach of both the Ipso editors’ code and journalistic ethics.
“The decision to make a formal complaint to Ipso was not taken lightly. We will await its ruling with keen interest as an important test of the self-regulatory system for newspapers and its ability to uphold ethical standards in the press.”