Man United ‘could face points deduction’ after Old Trafford protests

  • Rob Swan
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Manchester United face a potential points deduction following the protests at Old Trafford which caused the postponement of the club’s Premier League fixture against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Devils were scheduled to face their rivals at 16:30 GMT on Sunday, but the game was postponed after hundreds of fans forced their way into the stadium.

It’s unclear at this stage when the postponed fixture will now be played.

Thousands of United fans turned up to Old Trafford on Sunday to protest against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.

There were also protests outside Manchester’s Lowry Hotel, where United’s players and coaching staff were waiting to leave for the stadium.

According to a report from The Daily Mail, United are now at risk of being hit with a points deduction as the Premier League and Football Association begin their investigations.

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The two organisations will seek to find where responsibility lies after speaking with United and the local authorities.

The Mail claim that under Premier League rules, points can be decided where a club fails to ensure the safety of players and staff, as well as entry and exit from the ground.

Furthermore, the FA are able to impose fines and punishments including ground closures and suspension from competitions.

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The report adds that the Premier League has the power to investigate the breach of any rule and can arrange a commission of inquiry. These sanctions include imposing a fine or a points deduction.

The Premier League can also refer the matter to the FA, whose rule book states that clubs are responsible for their supporters and may be punished for any improper, violent, threatening, abusive, indecent behaviour, including the throwing of missiles.

Graeme Souness, speaking live on Sky Sports from Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, claimed a flare and a full can of beer were thrown towards them in the outside studio by protesters.

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The Premier League's handbook states that the home club must ensure players and match officials can enter and leave the stadium safely and that there is safe environment in which to play the match.

If - and it is a big *if* right now - United were hit with a points deduction over the coming days, it would mean Manchester City are immediately crowned Premier League champions.

Pep Guardiola’s side would have sealed the title had the Red Devils failed to beat Liverpool on Sunday.

Second-placed United currently have 67 points - leaving them four clear of Leicester City, and six clear of fourth-placed Chelsea - with a game in hand.

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Champions League football next season appears to be nailed on for the Europa League semi-finalists, but a points deduction could suddenly change everything.

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