Manchester United have been charged by UEFA after the squad turned up late for their Champions League tie with Valencia on Tuesday, the Evening Standard reports.
Kick-off was delayed by five minutes after the United squad’s team bus failed to turn up on time due to traffic and UEFA have now opened disciplinary proceedings against the club.
It took the United team bus 75 minutes to make their way from the team’s Lowry Hotel to Old Trafford and despite Jose Mourinho thanking UEFA for pushing the game back by five minutes, the governing body have still opted to charge the club.
Mourinho spoke to explain his side’s late arrival to the ground:
We left the hotel at six o’clock hoping that 30 mins would be enough, which normally it is, but this time the police refused to do an escort so we came by ourselves and we took from the Lowry hotel, 75 minutes. Uefa were nice, the referee was nice to allow us to start the game five mins later because we at least need half hour to be prepared.
But it was not a problem with the club organisation, we anticipate everything that it could be dangerous, in the sense of arriving late, but we were informed the police refused an escort.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Inspector Andy Sutcliffe, GMP’s Silver Commander for the Manchester United vs Valencia fixture, has since responded:
All police deployments are carried out following a comprehensive risk assessment process and specifically in respect of escort team buses, are only ever undertaken on occasions when there is intelligence or information to suggest a risk of threat or harm to the players.
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.
Valencia have also been charged for the late kick-off and will also face separate disciplinary action after their fans set off fireworks during the game, as well asfor a kit violation regarding the use of the national flag.
All disciplinary cases will be dealt with by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 18 October.