The Manchester United fanzine, Red Issue, does not have any plans to repeat last season’s obvious goading of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, Goal.com can reveal.
United play host to their bitter rivals for the first time since Greater Manchester Police (GMP) seized more than 1,600 copies of the publication, which included a spoof poster of a Ku Klux Klan hood along with the words ‘LFC’ and ‘Suarez is innocent’.
The taunts were a direct reaction to the furore surrounding the Liverpool striker, who had been banned for eight Premier League matches for racially abusing United defender Patrice Evra. The race row had engulfed both clubs for a number of months and police were worried that pre-match tensions could spill over.
This time, however, Red Issue told Goal.com that there is “nothing planned especially [sic], beyond the usual new issue.”
The police’s decision to confiscate the fanzine, and arrest one supporter for an alleged racially-aggravated t-shirt, said to have had a similar image to the fanzine, prompted huge criticism from fans last February.
Chief superintendent Mark Roberts has been keen to justify the GMP’s judgement. “The consequences of taking no action could have resulted in public order incidents inside or outside the ground,” he said, while their decision before the match briefly hit Red Issue financially.
Owners are keen not to encounter the same problems this time around, and while the publication is rarely squeaky clean, they are to take a softer approach when Suarez and co arrive at Old Trafford.