'Serious doubts' over Man Utd vs Liverpool going ahead

02 May 2021 05:32

The Premier League are still planning for Manchester United vs Liverpool to go ahead on Sunday despite fan protests breaching Old Trafford hours before the game.

But it remains unclear whether that will be the case as numerous reports claim the game is at serious risk.

Fans gathered outside the stadium on Sunday to protest against the club's owners after their involvement in the proposed Super League last month. The breakaway competition sparked fury from fans up and down the country and United's Red Knights supporters group organised a mass protest ahead of their derby clash with Liverpool.

Protests began outside the stadium and shortly after 2pm on Sunday footage emerged showing fans occupying the pitch inside the stadium.

As the situation developed, footage was then shared on social media that showed the moment the barriers were breached as fans charged past security in their numbers and entered via the Old Trafford main stand.

It's a rapidly developing story, but it is now being reported by Stan Collymore that kick-off is 'highly unlikely' to go ahead at the scheduled time of 4.30pm. The Athletic's Laurie Whitwell added there are 'serious doubts' over the match going ahead at all.

Collymore adds that the clubs were told it would take 'at least an hour' to clear protesters from the stadium. That was at 3pm, so it seems highly unlikely that the area surrounding the stadium will be able to be cleared in time for the teams to arrive and warm up for a 4.30pm kick-off.

Given that new footage has emerged showing fans breaking back into the stadium after the pitch had been cleared, it seems the situation is still a long way from being solved.

Per Whitwell, an emergency meeting was held at the stadium to discuss the events and whether a potential Covid breach - among other things - could put the game at risk. He also reports that the groundsman has inspected the pitch for potential damage and that broadcast cameras have been smashed, which could throw the fixture into jeopardy.

Match referee Michael Oliver has also been denied entry into the stadium.

Most sources seem to agree that there is a confidence among both clubs and the Premier League that the game will go ahead on Sunday but things are changing rapidly.

Source: 90min