Manchester United have appointed a former inspector from Greater Manchester Police as the Premier League’s first-ever counter-terrorism chief.
According to the Daily Mail‘s Jack Gaughan, the Red Devils have made the move in an attempt to increase security as they are aware their 75,000-seater Old Trafford stadium could be an obvious target for potential terrorists.
The newly installed chief is reportedly coaching stadium staff through “protocols and search layouts,” while more female stewards are being employed by United because turnstile queues have become a problem this season with security having been increased, per Gaughan.
The 2015 Paris attacks around the Stade de France prompted increased security measures from United over a year ago, per Jamie Jackson in the Guardian.
Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
However, two recent security gaffes have prompted further measures to be taken at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils’ final game of 2015-16 against Bournemouth was postponed after what turned out to be a dummy bomb—used previously for a security exercise—was found in a toilet, prompting calls for an “urgent” inquiry, per BBC Sport.
Six months later, in November, two fans then spent a night undetected in an Old Trafford toilet as they attempted to sneak into United’s clash with Arsenal, per BBC Sport.
A video posted by one of the perpetrators showed how they managed to get away from a stadium tour on the Friday and avoid security until the game had started on the Saturday:
United are clearly hoping to avoid similar, and potentially more serious, incidents occurring in the future.