An air of negativity again hits the Old Trafford as the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has said it was not to blame after Jose Mourinho suggested the lack of police escort caused his team to arrive late for the Champions League clash versus Valencia at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
UEFA has since opened disciplinary proceedings against United for both late team arrival and the late kick-off. The case will be heard by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on Oct. 18. It is likely United will be warned about their future conduct, though they could be issued with a fine.
United arrived at Old Trafford just 45 minutes before the game forcing UEFA to push back kick-off by five minutes. Mourinho explained afterwards that traffic problems on the route from their meeting point at the Lowry Hotel to the stadium had caused the delay and pointed the finger at police for not providing an escort.
The GMA in a statement said : “GMP has previously used police vehicles to accompany a team’s coach but after a review of our core policing responsibilities, it was decided that we would no longer provide this service at every fixture. We consulted with the relevant football clubs over a period of months to allow them adequate time to plan ahead for their journeys to the stadium.”
“Every fixture is assessed individually and we will continue to work with all clubs to provide an appropriate policing response.“, they added.
This is not the first time that United arrived late in a game, when they were under Louis Van Gaal they arrived late in many games especially in games based in London.