MANCHESTER UNITED have ramped up security for Sunday’s Liverpool clash to avoid a repeat of last season’s shameful scenes.
In May, yobs smashed their way into Old Trafford in protest at the Glazers ownership of the club.
It was the first Premier League match to be postponed due to fan protests, and United have thrown a ring of steel around today’s game.
Additional stewards have been brought in, while the club have beefed up their security staff’s presence.
An Old Trafford insider said: “Security protocols are always heightened for Liverpool, but this will be on another level.”
Last season, the crucial clash was called off at the eleventh hour when fans broke into the stadium to rage against the Glazers.
Covid safety was compromised as a result and officials were left with no choice but to abandon the match amid fears for player security.
It meant the Premier League were forced to reschedule a series of matches and ordered United to play Leicester and Liverpool within 48 hours.
League bosses launched an enquiry amid widespread condemnation at the apparent lack of precautions United had taken.
Lack of stewards and underestimating fan numbers was criticised, and the scale of the operation for the replayed game showed how more thought had been put into ensuring safety.
However, after reports and explanations were provided, Manchester United managed to avoid any FA charges.
A month prior to the incident, United threatened protestors with a stadium ban and criminal charges ahead of a match with Fulham.
United’s chief operating officer Collette Roche said: “Matchday at Old Trafford will be slightly different for those fans who have been successful in the ballot for the Fulham game.
“This is all designed to keep people as safe as possible and set us in good stead for welcoming larger crowds back next season and we are confident fans will understand the need for these procedures as a result.
“While some things will change, it’s important to stress that our usual ground regulations remain in place.
“We remind everyone that inconsiderate, reckless or anti-social behaviour by anyone visiting Old Trafford will not be tolerated.
“Club sanctions will apply for the use of flares within the stadium and any pitch incursions or vandalism will result in criminal prosecution.
“Our aim is to ensure that the match passes peacefully and that fans with tickets get to enjoy their return to Old Trafford.”
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