Manchester United vs Liverpool: Police warn supporters ahead of late kick-off

Greater Manchester Police remind supporters of beahviour

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The Independent Football

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have urged Manchester United and Liverpool supporters to behave when the two clubs meet on Saturday evening.

For the first time since 2004 the game between the bitter rivals will kick-off at 5.30pm, prompting fears that fans will drink more alcohol than can be managed for a 12.45pm kick-off, potentially increasing the likelihood of aggression and unrest, with 3,000 Liverpool supporters travelling to Manchester.

GMP issued a statement on Wednesday night to remind supporters of their behaviour.

"As always the TV cameras and media will be focused on one of the biggest club fixtures in the world," read the statement.

"We hope that supporters from both sides act in a responsible manner and enjoy the game, no matter what the result. The aim is to ensure that everyone enjoys the match and the day passes off safely.

"Recent league fixtures at Old Trafford between United and Liverpool have passed without incident and this is something that I hope we can achieve again for this game.

"Many issues experienced by fans can be overcome by effective communication and in order to build upon good relations from previous seasons, the Football Supporters Federation, Spirit of Shankly, Liverpool FC Supporters Committee and Manchester United Supporters Trust [have already been met with] to talk through some aspects of the policing operation."

Only two alcoholic drinks per supporter can be bought inside Old Trafford.

The statement continued: "We would like to remind all supporters that pyrotechnics are dangerous and are not welcome by the majority of fans. It is an offence to enter a stadium with such an item and those engaging in this behaviour risk arrest, prosecution and also a banning order.

"You cannot drink alcohol on the street in Manchester city centre or Trafford – the borough where the ground is – and this will be enforced around the stadium for home and away fans. Since implementing this policy it has stopped groups of supporters congregating at certain locations which created a hostile atmosphere for visiting fans and families."