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Two arrested after Liverpool team bus brought to a halt by Man Utd fan protest

Sporting News logo Sporting News 5/13/2021 Charlotte Duncker

Two people were arrested on Thursday as protesting Manchester United fans did their best to disrupt the Premier League clash with Liverpool once again.

Fans who are unhappy with the Glazer ownership arranged a second protest to coincide with the rearranged fixture but were unsuccessful in getting the game called off the second time around.

Despite the two arrests the protest, which was again based over two sites, was largely peaceful with hundreds of supporters chanting against the club’s American owners.

What happened?

Fans gathered on the forecourt outside Old Trafford ahead of the kick off with green and yellow flares a couple of hours before the game got underway.  

United were aware of the planned protest and instead of staying at their normal team hotel they made their way to the ground six hours earlier than usual and undertook their pre-match preparations inside the stadium where beds had been delivered to allow them to rest.

Liverpool were staying in a city centre hotel and protesting fans used cars to block the route of the team’s red bus.

It is understood they failed in their attempt to let the air out of the tyres and while some believed the red bus was a decoy to allow the players to get on another bus Goal understands that is not the case.

It is believed the red bus, which was the object of the blockade, was on its way to the hotel to get the players but had to be stood down and the team travelled to the ground in two different coaches and courtesy of extensive police presence.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Man Utd Liverpool protests Premier League 13/5 © Provided by Sporting News Man Utd Liverpool protests Premier League 13/5 a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Man Utd Liverpool protests Premier League 13/5 © Provided by Sporting News Man Utd Liverpool protests Premier League 13/5

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While police presence was lacking at the original protest they were out in force on Thursday evening and a barricade of officers blocked the usual entrance where the Liverpool coach would have arrived.

Jurgen Klopp’s side arrived via an alternative back entrance while fans blocked the main road, Wharfside Way, where they would usually come down.

What was said?

Assistant chief constable for GMP, Chris Sykes, said: "We have been working closely with Manchester United and partners to ensure those in attendance outside the stadium are kept safe while exercising their right to a peaceful protest.

"The safety of all those concerned remains GMP's main priority.

"We encourage everyone to remember we are still living under restrictions due to the pandemic and have a collective responsibility to remain safe and protect one another.

"Enforcement remains our last resort, but anyone whose behaviour crosses the boundary into a criminal offence should expect to be prosecuted."

What next?

The next game at Old Trafford will be played on Tuesday against Fulham, where fans will be allowed in the stadium for the first time in a year. As it stands there are no protests planned but no doubt those inside the ground will make their feelings heard.

Further reading 

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