Manchester United FC

Man Utd facing investigation over failure to contain Glazer protest

Tom Gott
May 3, 2021, 9:30 AM GMT+1
Man Utd fans protested the Glazer family
Man Utd fans protested the Glazer family | Getty Images/Getty Images

Manchester United will face an investigation from the FA over their failure to manage Sunday's anti-Glazer protest, despite knowing about the event for nine days.

Before the scheduled game against Liverpool, thousands of United fans flocked to Old Trafford to voice their frustration towards the club's owners, the Glazers, with some even managing to break into the stadium to protest on the pitch, and after a few hours of chaos it was decided that the Liverpool fixture could not be played.

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League
Old Trafford was surrounded by police | Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images

It was later revealed that the protests, which had started peacefully, had been taken over by a group of idiots who chose to use violence to send their message, with one innocent police officer needing urgent hospital care after suffering a nasty slash to the face when bottles and barriers were launched in their direction.

Footage also emerged appearing to show a police officer punching a Manchester United fan while they lay on the ground being arrested.

While United were obviously powerless to prevent that sort of behaviour, The Telegraph note that they will still face questions over their handling of the event as a whole as club officials had nine days to prepare an adequate response.

Comparisons will be drawn to the situation over at Arsenal. The Gunners have anticipated protests since their involvement in the Super League plans came out and have been getting their players to the ground earlier than usual to ensure their fixtures can go ahead.

Arsenal v Everton - Premier League
Arsenal fans have been outspoken as well | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

United were also in the fortunate position of being able to watch the scale of the protests at Arsenal. Thousands of fans swarmed the Emirates recently, and there are concerns that United should have expected that level of unrest in a protest which had been publicly planned for over a week.

There is obviously no blame attributed to the club for the violence from a small section of supporters, but United will face questions over how fans were allowed to enter Old Trafford, particularly when measures should be tighter than usual because of COVID-19.

The Premier League are now in the unenviable position of trying to reschedule the fixture. No official decision has been made, but if you look at the calendar, there are very few dates on which this game could be safely played.

Jurgen Klopp, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Rearranging the fixture could be tough | Pool/Getty Images

United's Europa League semi-final with Roma means it cannot be played this week, while Premier League matches mean the Red Devils are booked up both at the weekend and on May 12 as well. The weekend of May 15 is also out the window as Liverpool are scheduled to face West Brom.

Both teams are then in action on May 19 and May 23 to bring the season to a close, and United are also expected to feature in the Europa League final on May 26 (assuming Roma cannot overturn a 6-2 deficit). With the European Championship starting early in June, there may not be time to play it after the season ends either.

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