Greater Manchester Police said two police officers were injured during clashes with Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford on Sunday as an investigation began into scuffles between protesters and law enforcement authorities.
In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Ross Jackson condemned the protest as “reckless and dangerous” and said the club’s match against Liverpool had been postponed for safety reasons.
About 1,000 protesters gathered outside the stadium to demonstrate against the club’s owners, the Glazers, with 200 others attempting to block the team bus outside the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.
A group of about 100 protesters entered Old Trafford while bottles and torches were thrown off the ground.
Greater Manchester Police said: “Those in the stadium were evicted by the officers, but the hostility outside in the front yard grew with bottles and barriers thrown at the officers and horses.”
“Two officers were injured when one of the officers was attacked with a bottle and a severe wound to the face, which required emergency treatment in the hospital.”
The comments by Manchester United and the Premier League also condemned the protests that came in the wake of the club’s participation in the proposed Premier League.
“The behavior he exhibited today in both Old Trafford and The Lowry was reckless and dangerous,” said Assistant Police Commander Jackson.
“We understand the passion of many fans for their team and fully respect the right to peacefully protest. Plans were put in place to ensure this happens safely, but it quickly became apparent that many of those in attendance had no intention of doing so peacefully.
“We have launched an investigation and will work closely with our partners to ensure that the full circumstances surrounding today’s events are identified and those responsible are prosecuted,” he added.
“We saw horrific scenes this afternoon – police officers are not gift bags for people protesting for their cause,” added Stu Perry, President of the Greater Manchester Police Association.
“At the end of their shifts, diligent police officers should be able to return to their families in one piece. And not take them to the hospital.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters have protested peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for minority actions that have injured police officers and endangered the safety. Of others.
“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We must all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behavior of those at the top of the game.”
The Manchester United Supporters Trust wants the government to act to prevent individual shareholders from taking majority ownership in football clubs.
“Against the backdrop of the indefensible ESL proposals, and an” apology “from Glazers that we do not accept, we need to give the fans a meaningful stake in United’s ownership and a meaningful voice in how it is being done, she said in a statement.
“The government now needs to act. It should mean a process that leads fans to the opportunity to buy shares in their club and more to the point where there is not a single private shareholder owning the majority ownership of our football clubs which would allow them to abuse that. Ownership.”
Additional reporting by agencies