Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 18:45 UK

Man United parade off after riots

A Rangers fan throwing a bottle in Piccadilly Gardens (Pic: Jeevandra Sivarajah)
Trouble flared in Piccadilly Gardens (Pic: Jeevandra Sivarajah)

Manchester United's homecoming parade following next week's Champions League final has been postponed after violence flared in the city on Wednesday.

Police met the club and local authorities on Friday morning and the decision was taken to call off any event until later in the summer.

Manchester City Council confirmed that the riots involving Glasgow Rangers fans had been a factor in the decision.

Manchester United play Chelsea in the final in Moscow next Wednesday evening.

It will be the first time two English teams have met in the final.

'Baying wolves'

A joint statement said: "Manchester City Council, Trafford Council and Manchester United are working with Greater Manchester Police to identify suitable opportunities, given the necessary logistical demands to ensure security and safety, to appropriately celebrate United's achievements this season.

"There will not be a parade immediately following the Uefa final next week but details are being discussed to organise an event which may take place during the summer."

Rio Ferdinand
United won the Premier League last weekend

Opponents Chelsea have also had their plans for a parade affected.

The club wanted to hold a parade on Thursday, the day after the final, if it won, but the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London and local councils said a parade on a weekday evening "would bring severe rush hour disruption and chaos to west London".

Hammersmith and Fulham Council said it had suggested the following Sunday or Monday - a Bank Holiday - as alternatives, but the club has said it will make its position clear if it wins Wednesday's final.

The problems in Manchester came after more than 100,000 Glasgow Rangers fans were in the city centre on Wednesday night to watch the Uefa Cup final with Zenit St Petersburg, held at Manchester City's stadium at Eastlands.

But after Rangers lost 2-0 hundreds of supporters clashed with police. In one instance a mob of more than 200 fans chased after police officers and tripped one of them up.

All they're doing is punishing their own people for their own mistakes
Busby Babe Albert Scanlon

Pc Mick Regan was kicked, punched and stamped on as officers were pushed back by fans hurling bottles.

Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Justine Curran, described the fans as being "like a pack of baying wolves".

Riot police were deployed after a city centre big screen failed and several arrests were made.

Eleven supporters have since been charged with criminal offences.

The charges include public order offences, assault and throwing a missile.

'Shambolic' organisation

A further 11 Rangers fans who were arrested have been bailed pending further inquiries.

Twelve Rangers fans arrested were cautioned, and seven men, including one Zenit St Petersburg fan, were released without charge.

Manchester City Council have already said the Champions League final would not now be shown on big screens in Manchester.

Ex-Manchester United player Albert Scanlon, one of the famous "Busby Babes" team of the 1950s, said thousands of United fans would be "gutted" and blamed the police and council's "shambolic" organisation of the Rangers final.

Mr Scanlon, who will be going to the final, said: "All they're doing is punishing their own people for their own mistakes. It wasn't the people of Manchester's fault what happened on Wednesday. It was shambolic.

"It is all down to their own mistakes with Rangers which has condemned the United fans out of hand.

"If we win, the only place you will be able to see the cup is at Old Trafford, but not everyone can be there."




SEE ALSO
Glasgow 'ashamed' of Uefa riots
16 May 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Uefa violence 'stretched' police
15 May 08 |  Manchester
CCTV shows fans attacking police
15 May 08 |  Manchester
Your pictures: Manchester trashed
15 May 08 |  In Pictures
Uefa Cup fans clash with police
15 May 08 |  Manchester

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