OLD TRAFFORD (Thesun): POLICE officers were pelted with bottles by swarming Manchester United fans shouting “f***ing pigs” in shocking new footage from yesterday’s protests at Old Trafford.
Terrified cops were drastically outnumbered by a minority of violent demonstrators at the largely peaceful protest outside the ground, before fans karate kicked their way into Old Trafford.
The footage shows the ferocious gang launch bottles and other objects as they faced off with police, antagonising them with howls of “f***ing pigs” and “f***ing cowards”.
Officers drew their batons in attempt to fend off the mob, as glass shattered just inches from them and some were physically struck during the clash.
An estimated 10,000 fans gathered outside the Theatre of Dreams in protest of the club’s owners, the Glazer family, resulting in the Red Devil’s Premier League game against Liverpool being postponed.
Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation after two officers were injured during the disturbance on Sunday.
Assistant chief constable Russ Jackson condemned fans “reckless and dangerous” behaviour after one copper was attacked with a broken bottle and slashed across the face – requiring emergency hospital treatment.
“At different points, bottles and barriers were thrown, officers assaulted and people scaled the stadium structure creating risk for themselves and officers,” he continued.
Supporters chanted and let off flares outside Old Trafford before one protestor spectacularly karate kicked his way inside, much to the delight of fans who promptly charged indoors.
The club have vehemently denied reports that a door was opened by staff, releasing a statement explaining the throng of fans climbed the gates at the end of the Munich tunnel to gain access.
Others then opened an external door which allowed the herd to travel through the concourse area and onto the pitch.
Some slid down the tarpaulin sheets covering the empty seats or snuck through the disabled section to storm the pitch shortly before the scheduled kick-off.
But even after authorities managed to usher the crowds away, it was decided the match would not go ahead.
Staff inside the stadium were ordered to remain in offices with the doors locked for their own safety, before another invasion took place.
“A second breach occurred when a protestor smashed the door of a disability access lift, enabling a group to enter the stand,” Man U’s statement read.
Yesterday’s United statement explained: “Following discussion between the Police, The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, our match against Liverpool has been postponed due to safety and security considerations around the protest today.”
Players did not leave their hotel rooms amid further safety concerns, after hundreds gathered outside the Lowry Hotel – even blocking the squad from leaving the premises.
One emerging video appears to show a police officer repeatedly punch one demonstrator who lay on the ground, after he was dragged behind a police van by three coppers.
They shout at the young man to “stop resisting”, while one appears to strike him multiple times, before pushing away people filming.
He yells at the person recording “get back now” and “do as I say”, before the cameraman says “I am doing as you say, no need to touch me”.
The players and staff eventually left the hotel at 7.15pm, with a police escort.
The majority of fans protested peacefully, angered by the Glazers who have cost the club in the region of £1.5BILLION in servicing the debt incurred by their 2005 takeover.
For United legend and Sky pundit Gary Neville the protest was simply an expression of a the fans frustration with the way United has been run-down by the Glazers who he says should now do the ‘honourable thing’ and sell up and get out.
He was pictured fist-bumping a fan inside Old Trafford amid the chaos.
Neville said: “There’s huge discontent. They’re basically saying enough is enough.
“The Glazer family have been resilient and stubborn for many years. I think they’re struggling for many, many years to meet the financial demands this club needs and have done for some time.
“This stadium, if you go behind the scenes, is rusty and rotting. The training ground is probably not even in the top five in this country.”
With the club already hugely security conscience after a number of embarrassing blunders, an explosives search team later arrived to sweep the stadium.
Parts of it will also have to be deep cleaned as part of Covid protocoals with one fan understood to have made it into the changing rooms.