Six police officers were injured ‘hostile and aggressive’ protests at Old Trafford, GMP said, as senior officers also revealed they have made an arrest.
About 1,000 Manchester United fans demonstrated outside Old Trafford yesterday, and a further 200 attended the Lowry Hotel, where the team were preparing for the match against Liverpool.
They were protesting against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.
The force condemned the actions of supporters as ‘absolutely atrocious’, as some forced their way into the stadium.
A 28-year-old man has now been arrested after the force launched an investigation.
Sign up to the free MEN email newsletter
Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter
You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here
GMP said six officers were injured while responding to the protest.
One suffered a fractured eye socket, while another sustained a wound to his face and needed hospital treatment.
The force said another officer was dragged and kicked.
“The behaviour shown at this protest was absolutely atrocious,” GMP Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said.
“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.
“No officer should have to come to work and face these conditions.
“This violence was completely unnecessary and resulted in officers being taken from front line policing and neighbouring forces to prevent the disorder getting worse, putting increased pressure and strain on our service and ultimately taking away resources from those who may be in desperate need of our help.
“We are reviewing all obtainable evidence and following all lines of enquiry available to us in order to identify the organisers of this protest as well as those responsible for the officer assaults.
“If anyone has any information at all in regards to this, or any mobile phone footage from the event itself, please do get in touch with police as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information is being asked to contact GMP on 0161 856 7573 quoting incident number 955 of 02/05/21, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.