Police dogs were called in to investigate the stadium. (Image Credit: Alex Livesey / Stringer / Getty Images)
Manchester United were forced to delay their crucial match against Bournemouth after a bomb scare forced police to evacuate Old Trafford.
The suspicious device was located in the stadium prior to kick-off, with it being found taped to a bathroom door. After bomb experts were forced to conduct a controlled detonation of the device, they discovered that it was a realistic replica likely left behind from an exercise carried out by a private security firm.
With the match setting Man U back over £3 million as a result of the payout they will now have to distribute to fans, it’s likely that the club will conclude their partnership with the security company if they are found responsible for the error. Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd, who were used to carry out dog training exercises in Old Trafford, were hired by the club’s usual dog training company, Deacons Canines. According to a report from the Telegraph, United are set to conclude their partnership with Security Search Management, though it’s uncertain whether or not Deacons Canines will be implicated, too.
The dummy device was discovered by an Old Trafford staff member before the match had begun, sparking fears of a terrorist attack on the Manchester stadium. After the controlled detonation of the device was carried out, the Greater Manchester Police branded the situation a “fiasco” and condemned the club for wasting police time and resources. A full investigation by both police officials and Manchester United will be conducted to discover how such an egregious security blunder had taken place.
The match has now been postponed until 8pm on Tuesday (May 17th), with it set to be a crucial game for United. With them currently trailing in sixth place and having officially lost out on Champions League football after Manchester City secured their spot over the weekend, Man U will be looking to defeat Bournemouth in order to ensure that they qualify for the Europa League. If they fail to defeat Bournemouth, they will either have to rely upon an FA Cup final victory against Crystal Palace or triumph in the qualification round in order to enter the league.