Monday, September 17, 2012

Man Utd And Liverpool To Meet To Relieve Tensions

Manchester United chief executive David Gill is expected to hold talks with Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre in an attempt to calm tensions between fans before the clubs meet in the Premier League next weekend.

The build-up to United's visit to Anfield on Sunday has been marred by anti-Liverpool chanting heard at Old Trafford during last Saturday's 4-0 victory over Wigan.

United fan groups were quick to state that the chant of "Always the victims, it's never your fault" was not related to the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool supporters died.

But the airing of the chant, days after an independent report into the 1989 tragedy cleared Liverpool fans of any blame and revealed a huge police cover-up, has caused concern at both clubs.

It is understood preliminary talks between the two took place following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's findings on Wednesday.

At this stage, no plans have been made for a minute's silence to be held on Sunday in memory of those who died in the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough.

The possibility of wreaths being laid by officials from both clubs is also yet to be fully discussed.

There are also fears over a potential flashpoint involving Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez after the latter snubbed the former during the pre-match handshakes in February.

The Uruguayan's actions followed his eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra, and it has been reported that, when Gill and Ayre meet ahead of this weekend's game, they will discuss how best to avoid further controversy.

After the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers called for an end to the unsavoury chanting that has marred matches between the two clubs.

Chants about both Hillsborough and the 1958 Munich air disaster have been heard from a minority of fans.

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