Man Utd release fresh statement detailing how fans forced entry into stadium

Manchester United have refuted "completely incorrect" reports that club staff allowed fans into Old Trafford to stage their protests on Sunday.

The stadium was overrun by thousands of anti-Glazer demonstrators just hours before the Premier League clash with Liverpool was due to kick-off.

A significant number of those protesting made it onto the pitch and even into the main building as the door of a disability access lift was smashed to gain entry.

Greater Manchester Police took two attempts to secure the stadium but from there the events soon turned ugly as fans launched bottles at officers on the concourse outside the ground.

The game was delayed and eventually postponed, and United have now released another official statement regarding the damage.

The statement reads: "Following events yesterday, while many fans wanted to exercise their right to protest and express their opinion peacefully, some were intent on disrupting the team’s preparation and the game itself, as evidenced by activity at the Lowry Hotel and at the stadium.

"Reports in mainstream and social media that protesters were able to access the stadium and pitch via a gate opened by club staff are completely incorrect.

"After breaking through barriers and security on the forecourt, some protestors climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel, then forced access to a side door in the stand, before opening an external door that let others through to the concourse area and the pitch.

"A second breach occurred when a protestor smashed the door of a disability access lift, enabling a group to enter the stand.

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"The majority of our fans have and will condemn criminal damage, along with any violence towards club staff, police or other fans, and these now become a police matter.

"The club has no desire to see peaceful protestors punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activity, and will also issue its own sanctions to any season ticket holder or member identified, per the published sanctions policy.

"Information on the rescheduling of the game and any possible implication on other fixtures will be announced after discussion and agreement with the Premier League.

"We remain committed to dialogue and engagement with our fans through the Fans Forum and other appropriate channels."

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