LONDON – The explosive rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola – and the increased tension it may bring to the stands – are part of police planning for the Manchester derby.
Officers on duty for Saturday’s Old Trafford clash, the first between the feuding managers with their new clubs, will be told of the pair’s feisty history and the effect that may have on their operation. Around 400 officers are expected at the game, which kicks off at 1:30pm, and they will be briefed on a conflict that dates back to the managers’ days in charge at Real Madrid and Barcelona.
A source said: “Police are aware of the Jose Mourinho/Pep Guardiola rivalry and that the arrival of the new managers and their own rivalry could bring heightened tension. It is something that will be part of the review and it will be relayed to officers who are on duty at the game.”
Chief Inspector Dean Howard, the match commander, said: “This is arguably the biggest game of the season so far and no doubt will have the eyes of the world watching.
“We have a lot of experience policing high-profile fixtures such as this and we work closely with officials and fan groups. The vast majority of supporters are law-abiding and we hope all those in attendance enjoy the game in a competitive but safe atmosphere, allowing Manchester to once again showcase its football.”
United have commissioned a plaque for Sir Matt Busby’s old seat at Old Trafford.
The club came under fire when it emerged that the former manager’s family had been moved from the directors’ box and that plaques bearing the words “The Busby Family” had been taken off their seats. In a move they say was not connected with the backlash and made a week ago, United have ordered a new plate with the words “Sir Matt Busby”.
– Daily Mail via IOL