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Man Utd respond amid criticism of handling of mass protest before Liverpool tie

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Manchester United have defended their handling of the mass protest and violent storming of Old Trafford that saw Sunday's game against Liverpool called off.

Officers were just trying to do their job and facilitate a peaceful protest.

Despite public warnings of the mass protest, there was inadequate stewarding and policing to deal with the thousands of fans who descended on Old Trafford and ultimately broke into the stadium.

Around 200 fans, protesting at the Glazer family's ownership of United, forced their way past security and broke into Old Trafford, invading the pitch and causing criminal damage to property.

United and Greater Manchester Police are under pressure to explain how a security cordon at Old Trafford was breached by protestors, who were then able to gain access to the stadium.

But United have defended their handling of Sunday's events, with a club source claiming they had planned for a “peaceful protest” and that deploying more stewards, more robust crash barriers and insisting on a greater police presence would have sent out a “confrontational” message that the club wanted to avoid.

“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.”
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