Sir Alex Ferguson has called upon Liverpool and Manchester United fans to end the hostility felt between the two following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report this week.
The report, released on Wednesday, uncovered evidence of a huge police cover-up in the aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives during an FA Cup semi-final 23 years ago, while exonerating the club’s supporters of any wrongdoing.
The findings have sent shockwaves through the game as the families of those affected by the disaster ended their two decade-long pursuit of the truth, and Ferguson believes that now is the perfect time to unite and reign in the hostility both sets of supporters feel.
"We are two great clubs, ourselves and Liverpool," Ferguson said today. "We should understand each other's problems. Maybe a line will be drawn in the sand in terms of their behaviour towards each other.
"The fact we are playing them [September 23] after the findings we have been reading about in the last couple of days does bring a focus to it.
United suffered their own tragedy in 1958 when 23 people died, including eight Manchester United players, in the Munich air crash. In previous years it has not been uncommon to hear chants about both disasters when the two clubs meet.
"Both clubs have suffered fatalities through football. You hope that fans do behave themselves and support their team and that will be the end of it," Ferguson added.
Recent meetings between the two most successful clubs in English football have been blighted by controversy, with Ferguson labelling Suarez a 'disgrace' in February after the Liverpool forward refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra upon his return from a ban recieved for racially abusing the Frenchman.