Manchester United supporters protesting about the ownership of the club forced the postponement of the club’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Here, the PA news agency pieces together the events that led to the decision to delay the match until a later date.
1300 – Fans begin congregating outside the trinity statue on the Old Trafford forecourt, as another group starts to protest at the Lowry Hotel, where the United team are staying ahead of the game.
We join clubs, players and organisations in this weekend’s social media boycott.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 30, 2021
1400 – The numbers of protestors swell to thousands outside Old Trafford, with firecrackers being let off and a group of supporters beginning to march towards the Munich Tunnel.
1430 – United fans breach security and invade the stadium, taking to the Old Trafford pitch. Flares are let off, firecrackers are thrown and one supporter is seen wielding one of the corner flags.
1500 – The stadium is in lockdown and the PA news agency understands a meeting is hastily convened to discuss the breach in security. A sweep of the stadium is required and there is said to be damage to the pitch.
1530 – Despite mounting uncertainty over the status of the match, the Premier League proceeds to publish the official team sheet one hour before the scheduled kick-off time.
1600 – On Sky Sports, Gary Neville squarely blames club owners the Glazers, insisting: “There’s huge discontent. They (the fans) are basically saying enough is enough.”
1625 – The Premier League issues a statement in which it confirms the match will not kick off at its scheduled start time, adding: “At present there is no revised kick-off time.”
1740 – Officials confirm the game will be postponed. In a statement, United say that, while they accept the right of their fans to protest peacefully, they regret “the disruption to the team and actions which put other fans, staff and the police in danger”.
1750 – The Premier League calls the postponement “a collective decision”, saying there was “no justification” for the acts of criminal damage and trespass. Liverpool issue a statement saying they are “in full agreement” with the postponement.
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