Manchester United to ban any fans involved in criminal activity that forced Liverpool postponement

Manchester United will ban any fans found to have been involved in criminal or violent behaviour during protests which forced the postponement of their Premier League match at home to Liverpool.

A number of supporters forced their way into Old Trafford prior to Sunday’s scheduled 4.30pm kick-off as a demonstration against club owners the Glazer family escalated into incidents of damage and violence.

Two police officers were injured, with one “attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment”, while bottles and barriers were thrown outside the ground according to Greater Manchester Police.

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United are continuing to work with police to identify fans involved but, according to their sanctions policy, damaging property or disorderly behaviour warrants a one to six-game ban, while abusive or aggressive behaviour towards staff, police or anyone else in a working capacity or any other criminal activity can lead to indefinite suspensions.

Fans let off flares as they protest against the Glazer family, owners of Manchester United, before their Premier League match against Liverpool at Old Trafford, Manchester.(Picture: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire)

It is understood the club is focusing its efforts on those who committed offences and sanctions will not necessarily be applied to fans who merely entered the stadium or went onto the pitch.

“The club has no desire to see peaceful protesters punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy,” said a statement.

United have also rejected claims staff opened gates to allow protesters inside Old Trafford and say entry was gained by illegal means. “Reports in mainstream and social media that protesters were able to access via a gate opened by club staff are completely incorrect,” added the statement.

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