RED RAGE Live Blog
5 May 2021, 19:15Updated: 5 May 2021, 19:15MANCHESTER UNITED’S match with Liverpool on Sunday was POSTPONED on safety grounds after fans broke into Old Trafford and invaded the pitch.
The fixture will now take place on Thursday, May 13 with United’s game against Leicester moved forward to May 11.
United could face a points deduction or a whopping fine after the game was put back because the safety of the players could not be guaranteed.
Stay up to date with all the fall-out from Old Trafford in our live blog, below…
Man City are set for a 4,000 ticket allocation for the Champions League Final – after UEFA confirmed it will go ahead in Istanbul despite Turkey’s covid crisis.
Authorities in Ankara have confirmed to Uefa they are happy to host Manchester City and Chelsea or Real Madrid at the Ataturk on the last Saturday of May.
Uefa have already confirmed a crowd of 9,500, including 2,000 tickets to each club, for the Europa League Final in Gdansk on May 26.
Man United are virtually through after beating Roma 6-2 in their first leg.
But Arsenal face an uphill battle after losing 2-1 to Villarreal.
English fans are ready for both the Champions League and Europa League finals REDS RETURN CONFIRMED
Man United’s postponed clash with Liverpool will be played next Thursday.
And it means United having to play twice in barely 48 hours, three times in five days and four matches in nine days.
It had been thought that Liverpool’s trip to West Brom would be brought forward to allow the Old Trafford clash of the north west giants to go back to its initial Sunday afternoon slot on May 16.
Instead, United’s game with Leicester has been shunted forward 24 hours to Tuesday May 11 with a 6pm kick-off, and the Liverpool match will start at 8.15pm on May 13.
United will feel frustrated at the inconvenience and the rescheduling is a boost for Liverpool and their top four hunt.
Although Prem chiefs will argue that the Old Trafford club alone were responsible for the late call-off last Sunday.
Man Utd will finally host Liverpool next Thursday NEVER SAY NEVILLE
Richard Keys virtually accused Gary Nevile of “instigating riots” as he blasted the Old Trafford legend’s defence of Manchester United fans.
Keys said on his personal website: “Plainly no-one at your primary employer has got the courage to say anything to you – so let me.
“It really is none of my business who owns Manchester United, Arsenal, Valencia, Salford or Sheffield.
“With the exception of Salford, nor is it yours. Nor is it Jamie Carragher’s, Rio Ferdinand’s, Jake Humphrey’s or Gary Lineker’s.
“Our job is simple and privileged. Our job is to call football matches. It is not our job to instigate riots.
“And make no mistake, what happened at Old Trafford on Sunday was a riot. And a disgrace.”
Richard Keys has criticised Gary Neville’s defence of the Old Trafford protests WHEREVER I MAY ROME
Man United travel to Roma for the second-leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.
And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to welcome David De Gea and Eric Bailly back into the side.
The Red Devils lead 6-2 after the first-leg at Old Trafford.
Goals from Bruno Fernandes (2), Edinson Cavani (2), Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood gave United the emphatic win over the Italian side.
Here’s how they could look in Italy for the crunch clash…
How United could look against Roma FROM SUNSPORT’S MARTIN LIPTON
Away fans will NOT be able to attend the last two rounds of Prem games – after the Old Trafford pitch invasion forced a U-turn.
Prem clubs had been keen to ensure up to 500 visiting supporters were allowed into grounds in the last week of the season, as part of maximum 10,000 crowds.
But League chiefs were concerned that the Government, and local safety officers, might block the proposals in the wake of the violent incidents that saw Manchester United’s game with Liverpool postponed on Sunday.
And now the Prem has confirmed that, while fans are set to be allowed at the games between May 18 and May 23 – one in each of the 20 top flight stadiums – seats will be strictly sold to home fans only.
Man Utd fans storming of the pitch has made the Premier League re-think their plans TOP OF THE COPS
Man Utd received a police escort to the airport as they flew out to Italy for their Europa League semi-final second leg against Roma.
The Red Devils were afforded the extra safety measures just days after fans stormed Old Trafford causing Sunday’s Premier League match against Liverpool to be postponed.
United face Roma in the Italian capital on Thursday with a hefty four-goal advantage following the 6-2 thrashing at Old Trafford last week.
Manchester United’s coach was given a police escort to the airport
The coach was escorted by police following security breaches relating to fan protests
There was an increased police presence in case of any protestors at the airport FROM SUNSPORT’S NEIL CUSTIS
Bruno Fernandes has denied he tried to address protesting fans before Manchester United’s game with Liverpool was called off.
Around 250 fans laid siege to the team hotel on Sunday and it was rumoured he was ready to go and address them.
But Fernandes said: “I was in my room watching football because Udinese was playing against Juventus.
“I never tried to go outside. We just did what the security said to us, keep in our rooms, stay there and that was everything the players did.
“If someone tried to come out, I don’t know. I didn’t see anyone try to come out, honestly…”
Bruno Fernandes denies attempting to talk to protestors SOLSKJAER SLAMS VIOLENT PROTESTERS
Although he appreciates the fans’ concern, the United boss does not agree with violence.
Speaking at his press conference, he said: “The right to protest peacefully, everyone has got a human right to be heard.
“But it has to be peacefully. When you step out of line, when you break onto the pitch and into dressing rooms, that is not nice.
“And it’s not been helped by certain individuals, that is your [the media] end of it.”
OLE RECEIVES APOLOGY
Solskjaer confirmed in the press conference that he’s received an apology from the Glazers.
The United manager said: “I know communication has started between other individuals and me.
“This is a difficult position, for me, because I’ve got to focus on the football. I’m sure there will be better communication coming.”
‘CHALLENGES TO BE DEALT WITH’
The United boss went on to discuss how difficult it is to focus on football with the ongoing disruption.
He said: “Of course my focus has to be on the results.
“But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see we have challenges to be dealt with.
“Other individuals have started communicating with fans’ groups, which is going to be massive for us going forward.
“I would be sad if all the good work the players have gone got disrupted. Our focus is on playing well and getting to a final now.”
OLE BREAKS SILENCE
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken out for the first time since Sunday’s protest at Old Trafford.
Speaking at today’s press conference, the United boss said: “It was a difficult day for us. Of course, we wanted to play, to beat Liverpool for the fans.
“Our job is getting good results on the pitch.
“But as I said before the game, we have to listen, to hear the fans’ voice.
“It’s everyone’s right to protest but it has to be in a civilised manner. But unfortunately when you break in, when police officers are scarred for life, that’s a step too far.
“Then it’s a police matter, it’s not about showing your opinions anymore.”
Manchester United fans have bombarded their club’s new sponsor TeamViewer with negative reviews in protest.
Angry supporters left one-star ratings on website TrustPilot as they called for a boycott of the club’s sponsors.
Fans took their anti-Glazer protests online after violent clashes outside Old Trafford and pitch invasions led to Sunday’s clash against Liverpool being postponed.
Global tech company TeamViewer signed a £235m deal to be Man Utd’s new shirt sponsor from next season.
But in light of recent events at Old Trafford, their rating on TrustPilot has plummeted from four stars down to one.
OLE PRESSER COMING UP
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is due to speak in a press conference at 1pm.
The United boss is expected to be asked about Sunday’s events.
Stay tuned for Ole’s thoughts on the protest.
NOT A PENNY MORE’
Some United fans will boycott the club’s commercial partners to try and force the Glazers to sell up.
A statement on the ‘NotAPennyMore’ campaign was tweeted yesterday..
The Glazer family are described as intent on seeing out their ‘long-term plan’ at Manchester United despite Sunday’s protests.
A report in the Guardian outlines their mega-money ambition.
With the club currently worth just over £3billion, the Americans are said to want to grow it into a £7.2billion ($10bn) empire.
DO UNITED FANS LIKE CARRA?
After coming out in support of the protest movement, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has been praised by some United fans – including this Twitter user.
Is he now more popular at Old Trafford than Peter Schmeichel?
The ex-United goalkeeper’s comments on Sunday’s events did not go down too well with the fans.
He said: “I would much rather try to work with the current owners, see if it is possible to get them to understand what the football club is all about and get them in line with what the fans want.”
YOUNG HAS HIS SAY
Ex-United skipper Ashley Young has offered his opinion on Sunday’s protests.
The Inter Milan star said: “A lot was said about ‘it was because of the Super League that was coming’, but to be honest I know United fans and that’s not just what it was.
“This is going back years and years with the owners and they want to make their point.
“Obviously you don’t want to see a protest getting violent, you just want to see it as a protest. You want to see they’re aware of the anger fans, protesting about things that have gone on in the past.
“It’s not right to see the violence in it but the protesting is something the fans wanted to do, they wanted to have their voices heard.
“It’s down to the fans’ groups to get their points across, maybe the owners will see what the fans are saying and how upset they are. United fans have been asking for change for a long while.
“Maybe we’ll see change, maybe we won’t. I feel like there’s a lot of things in football that need to be addressed and that’s one of them.”
DID PROTESTERS HELP LIVERPOOL?
If Liverpool had won at Old Trafford on Sunday, Manchester City would have been crowned Premier League champions.
But now City must win their next game against Chelsea if they want to secure the title as soon as possible.
That may help Liverpool, who are seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand.
Victories for City and Jurgen Klopp’s side on Saturday will cut the gap.
And a win for Liverpool in the rearranged match at Old Trafford would leave them just a point behind Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The current Premier League champions face Southampton at Anfield this weekend.
HOW WAS SECURITY BREACHED?
Fans on a video posted on social media could be heard accusing workers of opening the gate to allow protesters access to the pitch, which caused the game between United and Liverpool to be postponed.
But how was this allowed to happen?
One fan was heard on the video telling a steward: “You’ve opened the door.”
The steward responded: “Not me Sir. I’m happy for this – I hate the f***ers.”
United have since released a statement saying: “After breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protesters climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel, then forced access to a side door in the stand, before opening an external door that let others through to the concourse area and the pitch.
“A second breach occurred when a protester smashed the door of a disability access lift, enabling a group to enter the stand.”
Here’s the video…
Manchester United steward accused of opening gates to let fans storm Old Trafford pitch during protest
POLICE STATEMENT REMINDER
Greater Manchester Police released a statement on Monday condemning the protests at Old Trafford.
GMP Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey, said: “The behaviour shown at this protest was absolutely atrocious.
“Officers were just trying to do their job and facilitate a peaceful protest, however a number of those present became hostile and aggressive towards officers and forced entry to the football grounds, making it very clear that this protest was not peaceful and ruining it for the majority of protesters who had not intended for the protest to become violent.
“Our officers tried to engage with protestors, but were met with violence and aggression which resulted in enforcement action being taken.
“Enforcement will always be a last resort, but in these circumstances it was deemed necessary in order to maintain safety during a situation that was rising in hostility.”
A reminder that we are still awaiting the official word on the new date for Manchester United versus Liverpool.
Making life difficult is the fact that the Red Devils feature in every midweek in May until the season ends on the 23rd.
This Thursday is the Roma game before May 12 is the game with Leicester, moved forward due to the Foxes’ appearance in the FA Cup final.
On Wednesday May 19, Liverpool are due to face Burnley while Fulham are up fo United.
The season then ends the following weekend before the Europa League final that appears destined to feature Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
WHITE CALLS FOR POINTS DEDUCTION
TalkSport’s Jim White has called for Manchester United to be deducted points following the protests at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The presenter told talkSPORT: “I think a points deduction has got to be considered.
“When you condemn United supporters for however they did it, getting thorough the gates, getting on to the pitch, everybody was appalled and open-mouthed looking at these pictures.
“As Graeme Souness said, a flare was thrown at a camera platform, if someone had been caught by that there was going to be a big-time problem.
“Some individual got hold of a tripod, not that this was the biggest crime that was ever committed, and chucked it.”
JOURNO GIVES HER VIEW
Sally Lockwood, the Sky journalist who tracked down Avram Glazer in America, has tweeted her opinion of the United co-owner.
Lockwood has received praise from United fans for her efforts.
Avram Glazer refused to apologise for the European Super League farce.
The American owner was tracked down in his home town in Palm Beach, Florida.
But he had nothing to say to when confronted by a Sky News reporter.
Glazer was asked whether he had anything to say to Man Utd fans and if it was time to sell the club.
But he had no response to the questions as he walked through a street in Florida.
The Man Utd co-owner was also asked whether fans were ‘just customers’ to him.
But once again he ignored the line of questioning and jumped into his car before driving away.
It comes after Man Utd’s clash with Liverpool on Sunday was called off amid furious fan protests.
Man Utd owner Avram Glazer refuses to apologise over Super League after being confronted in Florida
GOOD MORNING MANCHESTER UNITED FANS
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that a man has been charged following Sunday’s demonstration by Manchester United fans at The Lowry Hotel.
Supporters gathered outside the team’s hotel in Manchester, where the United squad was staying before the postponed derby against Liverpool, while others forced their way into Old Trafford to protest against the Glazer family, the club’s owners.
A statement from GMP read: “A man has been charged following a protest at The Lowry Hotel, Salford on Sunday 2 May 2021.
“Michael Anthony James Cusker (31/08/1992) of Winstanley Road, Manchester has been charged with throwing fireworks in a street, use of threatening behaviour and wilful obstruction of the highway.
“He has been bailed ahead of a court appearance at Manchester Magistrates Court on 25 May 2021.
“The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure complete transparency and independence in this investigation.”
Meanwhile, United fans are preparing more protests against the Glazers in the coming weeks.
According to Manchester Evening News, supporters could use United’s final three home games as a stage for more demonstrations.
The Red Devils are scheduled to host Leicester and Fulham on May 12 and 19 respectively.
There are similar plans for the postponed derby with Liverpool, which has yet to be rescheduled.