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Manchester United reject gate-opening reports about fan protest

United protest

Manchester United have released a new statement on Sunday’s fan protests and rejected suggestions that a staff member was responsible for allowing protesters access to Old Trafford.

On Sunday, thousands of disgruntled United supporters gathered at Old Trafford and the Lowry Hotel to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.

Hundreds managed to breach security at the stadium and made their way on the playing surface, forcing the postponement of the scheduled Premier League clash against Liverpool.

Man United protests

Certain reports alleged that a club staff member had opened gates to allow the protesters access to Old Trafford and the pitch but United have wholly dismissed such claims.

A statement on the club website reads: “Following events yesterday, while many fans wanted to exercise their right to protest and express their opinion peacefully, some were intent on disrupting the team’s preparation and the game itself, as evidenced by activity at the Lowry Hotel and at the stadium.

“Reports in mainstream and social media that protesters were able to access the stadium and pitch via a gate opened by club staff are completely incorrect.

Man United protests

“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.

Man United protest

“The majority of our fans have and will condemn criminal damage, along with any violence towards club staff, police or other fans, and these now become a police matter.

“The club has no desire to see peaceful protesters punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy.

“Information on the rescheduling of the game and any possible implication on other fixtures will be announced after discussion and agreement with the Premier League.

“We remain committed to dialogue and engagement with our fans through the Fans Forum and other appropriate channels.”

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