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Manchester United Could Face Points Deduction After Pitch Invasion And Liverpool Postponement

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Manchester United Could Face Points Deduction After Pitch Invasion And Liverpool Postponement

Manchester United could be facing a Premier League points deduction after their own fans caused the postponement of Sunday's match against Liverpool.

Both the FA and the Premier League are investigating the scenes at Old Trafford, which saw mass protests against the club's ownership. Several hundred fans broke into the ground and protested on the pitch.

Kick-off was at first delayed, then eventually called off amid concerns over the safety of the teams.

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Under Premier League rules, a points dedication can be enforced when a club fails to ensure the safety of players and staff, as well as entry and exit from the ground (per Mail Online).

The FA can also impose fines as part of a list of potential punishments, which also includes ground closures, suspension from competitions and responsibility for any postponement costs.

Both organisations are speaking to Manchester United and local authorities to fully understand what happened on Sunday afternoon - and where the responsibility lies for the postponement.

Manchester United are currently 13 points behind Manchester City, who will inevitably on to claim the Premier League title. But the Old Trafford club are, for now, 11 points clear of Tottenham in fifth and looking certain for Champions League football next season.

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The cause of Sunday's protests is widespread discontent with the Glazer family's ownership of Manchester United. While many of the fans protested peacefully outside the ground, some clashed with police and there were demonstrations outside the United team hotel, the Lowry.

After the 4.30pm kick-off was delayed to clear protestors from the pitch and to ensure both teams could arrive unimpeded at Old Trafford, representatives from both clubs and the Premier League met at 4pm. At that meeting it was decided that the fixture could not go ahead.

However in the Premier League Handbook, rule K14 states that the home club must make sure that the players and match officials can enter and leave the stadium safely and that there is a safe environment in which to play the match.

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Referee Michael Oliver was also delayed in reaching the ground, so Manchester United FC could be held accountable for the game being called off.

The Premier League has the power to investigate any breaches of these rules and sanctions include a fine or a points deduction. However, the Premier League also has the power to refer the matter to the FA.

The Football Association rules states that in extreme cases where "the FA's investigations conclude that the club concerned did not do enough to either prevent and/or deal with its supporters' misconduct, disciplinary charges may follow."

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The FA can set up a commission to investigate any alleged rule breach and if proven, it can suspend a club from football activity, impose a fine or impose a ground closure.

The Premier League and FA are yet to comment regarding an investigation into the incidents seen at Manchester United on Sunday, but the club is likely to face one.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Manchester United, Premier League, Old Trafford

Alex Reid
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