After Old Trafford has stayed silent for over a year, fans will finally be allowed back inside the ground for Tuesday’s Premier League tie with Fulham.
United’s record inside a fan-less stadium has been less than stellar. What used to be known as ‘Fortress Old Trafford’ has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s Achilles heel, while their away record has been exemplary. A win or draw against Wolves in their final game will mean they have gone the whole Premier League season undefeated on the road despite having lost six times in the same competition at home.
The absence of fans is almost certainly a huge part of that and so the news that 10,000 supporters will be allowed to attend Tuesday’s game, despite recent protests, is more than welcome.
‘The decision to allow 10,000 fans into the ground for Tuesday’s game against Fulham was reviewed on Friday following anti-Glazer demonstrations,’ The Mail reports.
‘What had been considered a formality following the Government’s decision to ease lockdown restrictions was thrown into doubt by Thursday’s protest before the defeat by Liverpool.
‘But after urgent talks between United and their safety advisory group — made up of Trafford Borough Council, local police and emergency services — a safety certificate for the Fulham game was eventually issued late in the day.
‘United will now welcome fans into Old Trafford for the first time in more than 14 months, going back to the Manchester derby in March last year.
‘It could present opportunities for troublemakers, and there are fears protesters may infiltrate the match-going fans to cause more disruption. United are confident they will know who is coming into Old Trafford, with supporters applying for tickets through a ballot system and facing strict identity checks at the ground.’
With Fulham already relegated and United already guaranteed Champions League football, the result of Tuesday’s match is not important. However, Solskjaer’s men hearing the fans singing their names again could provide a welcome morale boost as they prepare for the Europa League final against Villareal on May 26th.