Gary Neville's hopes of a lucrative testimonial match against Rangers have been dashed because of police fears about violence and damage to the city, mirroring the scenes in Manchester after the Uefa Cup final of two years ago.
Neville, who rejected the chance of a testimonial marking 10 years at Old Trafford eight years ago, saying he wanted to wait until the end of his playing career, will receive one at the end of this season and the organising committee has recently approached Manchester United with the idea of a Rangers match.
But initial soundings have shown United that the levels of policing needed would make the event financially unviable, with security advisers also uneasy about the risk of clashes.
At the time of Rangers' 2-0 defeat in the 2008 Uefa Cup final, with an estimated 150,000 Scottish fans in Manchester, the failure of a giant screen in the city centre sparked a riot that saw shops and vehicles badly damaged.
Gangs of fans had running battles with police, showering officers with bottles and bricks.
It remains unclear if the timing of Neville's testimonial is indicative of any plans to retire.
Though manager Sir Alex Ferguson pledged last weekend that the club captain would have a role at Old Trafford next season, it was unclear whether he meant a playing or coaching position.