Two police officers were injured in clashes with Manchester United supporters outside Old Trafford on Sunday, Greater Manchester Police said as an investigation was opened into altercations between protesters and the forces of the ‘order.
In a statement, Deputy Police Chief Russ Jackson condemned the protest as “reckless and dangerous” and said the club’s game against Liverpool had been postponed for security reasons.
Around 1,000 protesters gathered outside the stadium to protest against club owners, the Glazer family, and 200 others tried to block the team bus outside the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.
A group of around 100 protesters entered Old Trafford grounds as outside the ground, bottles and flares were launched.
“Those in the stadium were kicked out by officers, but outside on the forecourt, hostility escalated with bottles and barriers thrown at officers and horses,” the police said. Greater Manchester Police.
“Two officers were injured, one officer was attacked with a bottle and suffered a severe cut to his face, requiring emergency hospital treatment.”
Statements from Manchester United and the Premier League also condemned the protests, which came in the wake of the club’s involvement in the Super League project.
“The behavior displayed today by those of Old Trafford and the Lowry Hotel was reckless and dangerous,” Deputy Chief Constable Jackson said.
“We understand the passion many supporters have for their team and we fully respect the right to protest peacefully. Plans were in place to ensure this could happen safely, but it soon became apparent that many present had no intention of doing so peacefully.
“We have launched an investigation and will work closely with our partners to ensure that we establish all the circumstances surrounding today’s events and prosecute those responsible.”
Stu Berry, chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation, added: “We have witnessed some appalling scenes this afternoon – police are not punch bags for people protesting for their cause.
“At the end of their shift, hard-working police officers should be able to return home to their families in one piece. Not to be taken to hospital ”.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to clarify that the majority of supporters demonstrated peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for the actions of a minority who have injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.
“This could be an important time to change football for the better. We must all condemn violence of all kinds and stay focused on the behavior of those at the top of the game.”
The Manchester United Supporters Trust wants the government to act to prevent sole private shareholders from holding majority stake in football clubs.
He said in a statement: “On the back of the indefensible ESL proposals and the Glazers’ ‘apologies’ that we do not accept, we must give fans a meaningful stake in United ownership and a meaningful voice in how it is executed.
“The government must now act. It must mean a process that allows supporters to have the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more, to the point where no private shareholders have a controlling stake in our football clubs , which allows them to abuse that. possession. “
Additional reports by agencies