A Manchester United fans group has written an open letter to the mayor of Bruges, blasting the ‘deplorable treatment’ Red Devils supporters received while visiting the Belgian city.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men drew 1-1 with Club Bruges last week in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
However, it seems it was a much worse experience for the fans with the trip described as “the worst experience of a European away game they’d had for many years”.
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust’s (MUST) letter to Bruges mayor Dirk De Fauw read: “Fans were in genuine fear for their safety.
“We returned home with an impression of Bruges that should shame all those responsible for our safety and security.
“We have numerous reports that the police instructed taxi drivers to stay away from the ground and not to pick up Manchester United fans. It was a long walk in horrendous weather conditions from the town to the stadium.”
It also questioned the local police’s use of water cannons and barbed wire barriers, while also complaining of the alleged refusal to allow supporters to exit the stadium.
MUST’s letter added: “We would be embarrassed if visitors to Manchester were treated as described above – are you not ashamed of the way visitors to your city were treated?
“Poor treatment is one issue but the safety concerns go far beyond that and we will be sending a report to UEFA outlining the issues our supporters have sent to us.”
Below you can see a table of what MUST’s letter also alleged.
MUST’s open letter to Mayor of Bruges
The Manchester United Supporters’ Trust alleges that fans were also subject to:
- Deliberately being sent in the wrong direction and on long detours
- Almost universal hostility from police when they were approached for assistance/directions
- Exit gates in the stadium being “locked leading to the build up of crowds and the risk of a crush developing”
Manchester United fans are being invited to submit personal accounts of their experiences through the Trust’s website and social media.
The second leg of the tie at Old Trafford is on Thursday.