A safety report from Manchester United has confirmed that the club refused entry to supporters a club record total of 541 times last season amid increased security at Old Trafford.
The Premier League club are also giving all staff counter-terrorism training and prepared themselves for a bomb hoax when they hosted Bournemouth in the repeat of their abandoned match.
The report, the details of which were reported by the Daily Mail, gives an in-depth glimpse into the behind-the-scenes goings on at United.
The report also reveals that the club are working with ambulance services to reduce the number of hospital admissions, given the increasing pressure of the country’s NHS, says they are attempting to give the best treatment possible outside of a hospital environment on-site at the stadium.
Unfortunately, the report also gives a fresh reminder that football hooliganism is still present, with the report disclosing that during United’s home fixture against Stoke, three knives were found during the course of the fixture, with two found discarded and one found on the person of someone trying to gain access through the away end.
For more than a year, United have targeted several anti-social behaviours, including ticket touting, away fans getting into the home stands, and secret smoking and drunkenness.
As a result, the club made the 541 refusals, saying that the knock-on effect was what ensured that there were only 48 arrests inside Old Trafford during the 2016-17 season, the lowest seasonal tally ever recorded.
As fans may remember, United’s Premier League game with Bournemouth in May 2016 had to be abandoned after a suspected explosive was found by a fan behind a toilet door before kick-off, whereas the ‘bomb’ was actually a dummy device left behind during a training exercise the day before.
United are understood to have upped their security in the same fixture the following season as they feared pranksters could use the occasion to strike.
The report states: 'It was identified in the planning for this game that the iconic nature of the fixture could potentially attract hoaxers or pranksters trying to embarrass the club'.
Amazes me how with all the security checks outside some of these weapons still get into Old Trafford.— John Acaster (@johnnyamufc) January 15, 2018
It adds: 'Additional preventative security measures were put in place to mitigate such activity.
The match passed without any significant incidents and with very little media reference to last year's event.'
Following the debacle of 2016, all staff at the club undertake an online counter-terrorist awareness course every year.