Security chief says Manchester United didn't need to evacuate Old Trafford

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Football News

The security chief who was responsible for leaving a fake bomb in an Old Trafford toilet, ultimately causing the abandonment of a Premier League game, has claimed Manchester United were wrong to evacuate the stadium.

Christopher Reid, director of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd, was charged with carrying out the security procedure at Old Trafford last week in which the convincing yet harmless device was used to train sniffer dogs.

Although the training exercise was on Wednesday, the device laid connected to pipes until Sunday afternoon, where it was discovered by Old Trafford staff just 13 minutes before Manchester United were due to kick off their Premier League finale against Bournemouth.


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Two stands were evacuated as the words 'Code Red' were announced over the tannoy system. Eventually, a full evacuation was ordered and the game was abandoned. With Manchester United committed to refunding all tickets, it is reportedly set to cost the Red Devils £3m in lost revenue.

But Mr Reid, who has specific expertise in security alerts, believes Manchester United over-reacted and says the situation could have been easily averted had some of their own security been adequately trained.


"Look, I'll be honest, they didn't need to evacuate the stadium," he told The Telegraph. "It was an inanimate device.

"In the security world, there is a lot of ticking boxes, just making sure that they have the numbers.

"There are numbers there doing what they are doing, but none of them are trained to a particularly high standard, which is not their fault. This is to do with security officers that just haven't had the training. That could be any club, Chelsea, Wembley, anywhere."

Hung out to dry

Although the footballing world is still thankful that the device was not an actual explosive placed there with the intention of causing destruction, there is likely to be many more hours of talks between Old Trafford chiefs.

Manchester police have asked for a "grovelling apology" from Manchester United while it may also have a detrimental effect on the club's FA Cup final chances.

Whatever the outcome, Mr Reid believes the guillotine will eventually fall on his head.

"Ultimately, I am responsible, I went up to Manchester to conduct the training at the club," he said. "We have a team of five, but this week I went up and did it myself.

"I feel bad for the fans; for all the disruption caused. These things happen, it was human error. But I pride myself on my expertise.

"The Manchester United executives are currently meeting, so I am waiting to hear back from them. I am now really waiting to see how much they're going to hang me out to dry."

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