Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Premier League unlikely to act on chants

Manchester United's win over Wigan was overshadowed by anti-Liverpool chants from the home fans

The Premier League are believed to be unlikely to take action following brief anti-Liverpool chanting during Manchester United's Barclays Premier League 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday.

United's biggest win of the season was marred by a short burst of anti-Liverpool chanting from a small minority of home fans following on from this week's damning report on the handling of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, in which 96 people died.

One clearly audible chant at Saturday's game at Old Trafford was "Always the victims, never your fault", believed to be in reference to the report findings.

There is a history of sour relations between the two sides. A minority of United fans have directed chants to Liverpool fans regarding Hillsborough and a Liverpool minority have chanted in reference to the Munich air disaster of 1958 in which 23 people died.

Press Association Sport understands the Premier League deem the chants to be unacceptable but believe it is a matter for the clubs themselves to deal with.

On Saturday, a United spokesperson said the club "deplore" such songs and in a statement, United said: "The manager has made the club's position very clear on this matter. It is now up to the fans to respect that."

The Football Association declined to comment on the matter when contacted by Press Association Sport and the tension between the two rival clubs is sure to be heightened when United travel to Anfield next Sunday.

Manchester United's Supporters' Trust (MUST) echoed Ferguson's statements. MUST chief executive Duncan Drasdo said: "We enjoy a fierce rivalry but these issues transcend that rivalry.

"We agree 100% with the statement made by Sir Alex Ferguson - this is the time for supporters of these two great clubs to represent their clubs with the integrity and honour that our glorious history demands.

"Following this week's developments and release of revelatory information on the Hillsborough tragedy, MUST wishes to make it absolutely clear that just as we condemn chants mocking the Munich air disaster we also condemn any chants relating to Hillsborough or indeed any other human tragedy."

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