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Manchester Evening  May 2, 2021 Visit Site
Officer slashed to face as Manchester United protesters hurl bottles at police during demonstration at Old Trafford
 
 

Some United staff were forced to lock themselves in rooms as people scaled the stadium structure, the force said.

Demonstrators outside the Manchester United ground became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police before a group of around 100 people then forced entry to the stadium, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

Some United staff were forced to lock themselves in rooms as people scaled the stadium structure, the force said.

A senior officer has condemned the reckless and dangerous behaviour.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said: The behaviour displayed today by those at both Old Trafford and The Lowry Hotel was reckless and dangerous.

We understand the passion many supporters have for their team and we fully respect the right for peaceful protest. Plans were in place to ensure this could happen safely, but it soon became clear that many present had no intention of doing so peacefully.

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.

The force are now looking for those responsible for the assaults and disorder and bosses have promised to pursue prosecution.

ACC Jackson added: We have launched an investigation and we will be working closely alongside partners to ensure we establish the full circumstances surrounding today's events and prosecute those responsible.

Extra officers had to be called in from neighbouring forces when hundreds of people gathered outside Manchester Uniteds football ground.

Protesters also gathered at The Lowry Hotel, in Salford, where the United players were staying.

United's game scheduled against Liverpool has been postponed amid the chaos.

The anti-Glazer movement has gained huge momentum in recent weeks following their failed attempt to form part of a breakaway European Super League in April.

GMP say more than 1,000 gathered at Old Trafford and around 200 were present at The Lowry Hotel.

Officers were aware of a protest planned to take place at Old Trafford and say they were working closely alongside partners to ensure those that attended were kept safe whilst enabling their right to peaceful protest.

GMP say officers continued to closely monitor the situation, engaging with those present but as the groups grew in size; it became clear that many of those present were not intending to exercise their right to peaceful protest.

Flares were let off and bottles thrown at officers.

Protesters outside Old Trafford became especially aggressive and antagonistic towards police before a group of about 100 forced entry to the ground with some United staff having to lock themselves in rooms.

Those in the stadium were evicted by officers but outside on the forecourt hostility grew with bottles and barriers being thrown at officers and horses.

Two officers have been injured with one officer being attacked with a bottle and sustaining a significant slash wound to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.

With the situation increasing in hostility, additional officers had to be deployed and officers had to be drawn in from neighbouring forces to assist Greater Manchester officers.

Following discussion with The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, a joint decision was made to postpone the match for safety reasons.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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