The Premier League match of Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford later this afternoon has been placed under serious doubts, forcing the Premier League to announce that the match has been delayed.
The clubs were due to face off at 4.30 but footage emerged shortly after 2pm that showed protesters occupying the stadium.
They were smashing equipment and climbing on goalposts – with stadium placed into lockdown and players barricaded in Lowry Hotel unable to travel to game
The fans are protesting against United’s American owners, the Glazer family, in the wake of the doomed European Super League project
A huge crowd assembled outside Old Trafford hours before the match and smoke flares were set off.
Then several dozen protesters breached security cordons to get inside the stadium and onto the pitch
Both teams have been held back at their team hotel by Greater Manchester Police, while match referee Michael Oliver was also delayed in accessing the ground.
Officials at Old Trafford convened an emergency meeting to determine whether any Covid-19 protocols had been breached following the stadium invasion. Fans were not due to be in attendance at the game.
The crowd shouted ‘we want Glazers out’ and ‘United, United’ as they walked onto the pitch. Outside the Lowry, others chanted ‘we decide when you play’.
One protester was filmed picking up a camera tripod from a pitchside media position inside the stadium and hurling it onto the pitch.
Others tried to get down the tunnel, while another took a corner flag and some swung from the crossbar of one of the goals. Many were clutching beer bottles.
Later, television footage from inside the ground showed a smaller number of fans still inside the stadium. Some clambered over the seating to taunt stewards before police moved in.
Thousands had assembled at an organised protest outside Old Trafford against the Glazer family and their efforts to sign United up to the European Super League.