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Police discuss prospect of Manchester United and Leeds United fans mixing ahead of finals in May

Police are on high alert over the possibility of Manchester United and Leeds United fans going to Wembley Stadium a day apart, according to Mike Keegan of the Daily Mail. United face their rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final on May 25, while Leeds could play at the home of English football 24 hours later in the Championship play-off final.

Police discuss potential United/Leeds issue at safety meeting

The Red Devils booked their spot in the FA Cup final on April 24 following a penalty shootout victory against Coventry City. Leeds will have to see off Norwich at Elland Road on Thursday night to book their spot at Wembley on May 26. Due to the prospect of both fans converging on London within 24 hours of each other, police have discussed this possibility in safety meetings.

Manchester United/Police
Manchester United secured their place in the final with a penalty shootout victory against Coventry City – Photo by Icon sport

Ahead of the FA Cup final, local hotels, bars, and restaurants have seen a significant rise in bookings. This includes large numbers of United fans staying in London hotels on the Saturday night after the conclusion of the final.

Back in 2021, there was ‘large-scale disorder’ between United and Leeds fans ahead of a Premier League match between the two teams. The clashes between the supporters led to six arrests. If Leeds reach the final with a win against Norwich, extra police and security are likely to be brought in for the weekend of the two finals in late May.

EFL requests for change in Championship play-off final kick-off time dismissed

The Championship play-off final will kick off at 3pm, but the EFL originally lobbied for a later kick-off time as it has attracted better viewing figures in previous seasons. Along with this, they said that a later kick-off time would reduce the risk of United and Leeds fans mixing. Their requests were dismissed by the FA.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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