Manchester Pride, Eid and The Labour Party Conference have all affected who United play and when this season, new documents have revealed.
In response to a Reds Away request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, Greater Manchester Police has revealed the requests it sent to the Premier League fixture compilers last March concerning this season’s matches.
Generally, GMP bosses request United and Bolton never play at home on the same day City and Wigan do and that no high-risk games be staged on public holidays.
They also have special criteria for which they can handle ‘category C’ fixtures – matches against teams such as City and Liverpool, where there could be trouble in the city centre or near the ground.
The letter says: “GMP will not support and, will in fact object to, any Category C fixtures due to start after 17:00 on Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays.
“Weekday evening fixtures will not start after 20:00.”
The final request contradicts United’s most recent home match, which started at 20:05 due to ITV1 coverage.
The Force’s first specific request concerned the first weekend of the season as it coincided with Eid UL Fitre.
“For the period of this event, low-key fixtures would be appreciated for all matches in the Force area.”
City played Southampton at home on August 19.
Manchester Pride, on August 24 to August 27 was the next cause for concern.
The letter said: “Several thousand people are involved in the event over a three-day period.
“The event has a huge impact on the city centre and transport infrastructure. It would be appreciated if low-key fixtures were scheduled for City or United, whichever is at home.”
United played Fulham at home on August 25.
GMP asked for a “home fixture against low-key opposition for Manchester City” on either September 29 or 30 as the Labour Party Conference was taking place from September 30 to October 4.
“The operation (for the conference) is very resource intensive for all the territorial divisions and specialist branches in GMP.”
In the end, United played Tottenham on September 20, going against GMP’s preference.
GMP asked for a low-key City home game to take place on the weekend of October 6 as the Rugby League Grand Final was taking place at Old Trafford.
City played Sunderland at home.
GMP asked that any game coinciding with Eid Ul Adha - October 24 to October 26 – be low key.
It was a Champions League midweek anyway and United played Braga on October 23.
One bone of contention seems to be Remembrance Sunday on November 11.
The letter says: “In view of considerable opposition from members of the community to matches being played on Remembrance Sunday, it is requested that no fixtures are scheduled (on that day).
“It would be appreciated if low-key fixtures were scheduled City or United, whichever were at home.”
City played Tottenham on Remembrance Sunday and Spurs brought 3,000 fans.