The “frustration” felt by supporters with some football clubs had to be understood, a government minister said following Sunday’s invasion of the pitch at Old Trafford.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was speaking after Manchester United’s game with Liverpool was postponed after a peaceful protest planned outside the stadium by fans angry at the club’s owners turned violent.
“Looking at the scenes we just saw on the show, there can be no excuse for this kind of behavior,” Cleverly told Sky News, adding that the supporters should be at the heart of the game and referring to a government-announced “fan-driven review”.
“So I can’t endorse the images we saw of storming the ground, but we have to understand the frustrations of the fans, not just with Manchester United but with a number of clubs throughout the game. “
Greater Manchester Police have opened an investigation after a policeman required emergency hospitalization following the unrest at Old Trafford.
Fans broke into the stadium and took to the pitch in protest against club owners, the Glazer family, while outside the ground, bottles and barriers were thrown at police officers and horses.
The postponement of the Premier League game between the two most famous clubs in English football has been confirmed after supporters gathered at the stadium.
This has added further uncertainty to United’s list of games in a week’s time as they face the second leg of their Europa League semi-final with Roma, and is the most graphic illustration of the season to date. breach of trust between fans and owners.
At around 1 p.m., a crowd began to gather outside the stadium, holding anti-Glazer banners and chanting the American family, whose long-standing unpopularity with supporters was heightened by their Super League registration. European, now defunct.
A crowd of around 200 had also gathered at the Lowry Hotel in the city center, where the team stays before games. At the hotel, the United coach was surrounded by supporters before the police banks arrived, while the number of protesters at Old Trafford soared to thousands after 2 p.m.
With firecrackers thrown and flares, a group marched towards the Munich tunnel and by 2:30 p.m. security had been breached and Old Trafford grounds were invaded.
There, more firecrackers were released, flares were launched, one individual was seen swinging over the goal posts and another grabbed a corner flag, while outside there was clashes with police, with two officers injured after bottles were thrown, one of them sustaining a cut to his face and requiring hospital treatment.