The game between Manchester United and Liverpool has been called off after protesters broke into Old Trafford earlier on Sunday.
Hundreds of United supporters gathered outside the stadium to protest against the Glazer family. A significant group broke into the ground and made it onto the pitch. They were trying to make a stand against the club’s owners.
The fans have never had a good relationship with the Glazers and tensions resurfaced after the European Super League saga last month.
United were one of six Premier League clubs to break away into a new competition, which was fiercely criticised. All those clubs ultimately pulled out.
But the scars have not healed and there is a lack of trust between the fans and owners. To make their stance clear, United fans descended on Old Trafford to disrupt proceedings.
Both teams remained at their hotels and kick-off was indefinitely postponed from the scheduled time of 4:30pm. Just over an hour after it was supposed to kick off, it was confirmed that the game would not be going ahead on Sunday.
A Manchester United statement read: “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.
“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 protests were marred by some instances of violence, with one police officer requiring emergency treatment in hospital after being slashed on the face.
Premier League release statement
The Premier League also released a statement explaining the decision.
It read: “Following the security breach at Old Trafford, the Manchester United vs. Liverpool game has been postponed.
“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities.
“The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance. We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated COVID-19 breaches. 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 in agreement
In a statement of their own, Liverpool put their backing behind the postponement.
They said: “Liverpool Football Club was in full agreement with the decision to postpone today’s fixture as a result of ongoing events at Old Trafford and the surrounding area.
“It is our position that public safety must be the number one factor in any such decision, with the ability to provide a secure environment for the participants, staff and officials being a particular priority.
“It was clearly not possible for this to be guaranteed today due to a situation which escalated rapidly.
“We will continue to have dialogue with Manchester United, the Premier League and the local authorities to find a suitable date to reschedule.”