Manchester United will go ahead with plans to let supporters back into Old Trafford despite violent protests against the club’s owners.
Sportsmail can reveal that the decision to allow 10,000 fans into the ground for Tuesday’s game against Fulham was reviewed on Friday following anti-Glazer demonstrations.
Man United will go ahead with plans to welcome 10,000 fans back to Old Trafford on Tuesday
But after urgent talks between United and their safety advisory group — made up of Trafford Borough Council, local police and emergency services — a safety certificate for the Fulham game was eventually issued late in the day.
United will now welcome fans into Old Trafford for the first time in more than 14 months, going back to the Manchester derby in March last year.
The move could be considered a big gamble in light of the trouble that has flared at home games since United’s role in the failed European Super League led to a backlash against the Glazers.
There had been concerns over fan return after violent protests against the owners, the Glazers
Anti-Glazer protesters have congregated to voice their grumblings over the Glazer ownership
It could present opportunities for troublemakers, and there are fears protesters may infiltrate the match-going fans to cause more disruption. United are confident they will know who is coming into Old Trafford, with supporters applying for tickets through a ballot system and facing strict identity checks at the ground.
But having gone to great lengths to keep protesting fans out of the stadium over the past two weeks, there are concerns over letting so many of them back in.
United have fortified Old Trafford with a 10ft wall and steel barricades. It followed the angry demonstrations that forced their game against Liverpool to be postponed 13 days ago, when protesters clashed with police and invaded the pitch.
The rescheduled game went ahead on Thursday but only after United players had to arrive seven hours before kick-off and Liverpool used a decoy team bus to smuggle themselves into the ground.
Two fans were arrested as protesters clashed with police. United and Liverpool are now likely to scrap a friendly between the two clubs planned for Old Trafford in July.
Hundreds of Manchester United fans stormed the pitch ahead of the match against Liverpool
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: ‘Hopefully when we let the fans in on Tuesday it’s a good atmosphere. We have waited a long time to let them in so we’re looking forward to enjoying the game together.’
It will be United’s final home game of a season that will end with the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk a week on Wednesday.
The club are already pursuing transfer targets for next season and talks are said to have taken place with representatives of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.