Manchester United review security plan with further fan protests expected

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<span>Photograph: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images

Manchester United are reviewing their use of the Lowry hotel before home games and their other security arrangements after last Sunday’s protests caused the postponement of their match against Liverpool.

United stay at the Lowry, in the city centre and a 20-minute drive from Old Trafford. While it is understood that the club has been contacted by other hotels in the area to offer their services, United are taking advice from Greater Manchester police and their own security staff.

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United’s next home match is Tuesday’s visit of Leicester City before Thursday’s rearranged fixture with Liverpool when fans are planning another protest outside the stadium.

Last Sunday’s disturbances reflected deep disaffection with the club’s American owners, the Glazers, and resulted in a number of individuals breaking into Old Trafford and injury to police officers.

The protest was widely condemned, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, United’s manager, was asked if the club are considering different arrangements for the Leicester fixture. “We want to keep it as normal as possible of course, because you like to prepare for games in a certain manner,” he said. “It’s impossible to prepare as we normally do with only one day in between the games. So the prep will be different but the off-field stuff hopefully we’ll keep it as normal as possible.”

Because of the Liverpool game being rescheduled, United face a hectic schedule of four matches in 10 days starting with Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa and ending with Fulham’s visit on 18 May.

After their league season ends against Wolves on 23 May, United face Villarreal in the Europa League final three days later, having sealed aggregate victory over Roma on Thursday.

While Solskjær did not criticise supporters, he said the hostility towards the Glazers is an issue: “It makes it more difficult for me and more difficult for the players.

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“We have to focus on getting results and we’ve come a long way. We’ve got to a final now and we just want to focus on doing what we do but doing it better. And hopefully the fans will see that we are working in the right way.

“I want us all to come together and unite and get up the table and that is my responsibility. I will do what I can to get us one step further in Europe and one step further in the league.”

He hopes to end the club’s four-year trophy drought against Villarreal: “We’ve had a long spell with no trophies and no finals and now we’ve got a chance and I feel that the team is ready for it.”