Manchester United could face a points deduction under Premier League rules over the ugly scenes at Old Trafford which forced their game with Liverpool to be postponed.
Both the Premier League and Football Association are investigating following the mass protests around Old Trafford on Sunday.
And the organisations are speaking with Manchester United and the local authorities to piece together exactly what has happened, and where responsibility lies.
Under Premier League rules, points can be deducted where a club fails to ensure the safety of players and staff, as well as entry and exit from the ground.
Premier League handbook sets out the requirement on clubs to provide a secure environment for players and officials in Rule K14.
K.14. Each Home Club shall further procure that Players and Match Officials are provided with a safe and secure:
K.14.1. means of access to and egress from the Stadium prior to and after the League Match;
K.14.2. environment in which to play the League Match; and
K.14.3. means of access to and egress from the pitch prior to the kick-off of a League Match, at the beginning and end.
The FA can also impose fines, in a long list of potential punishments, which includes ground closures and suspension from competitions. And it can demand the club responsible for any postponement compensates the other side for any costs.
Hundreds of United supporters stormed the pitch at Old Trafford ahead of their game against Liverpool in protest at the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, before clashing with police in ugly scenes.
The FA and Premier League have between them plenty of rules that cover the postponement of matches and the safety of players and staff, which will now be examined by the authorities and the club.
In the Premier League Handbook, rule K14 states that the home club must make sure that the players and match officials can enter and leave the stadium safely and that there is safe environment in which to play the match.
And rule K13 also states that the players’ entrance as well as the parking area and the points of entry are adequately policed or stewarded.
Representatives from the two teams and the Premier League came together to discuss the situation at Old Trafford at 4pm yesterday, after which it was determined that for safety reasons the fixture could not go ahead.
Both teams were held back at their hotels by Greater Manchester Police, while match referee Michael Oliver was also delayed in accessing the ground.
A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Following discussion with The Premier League, Trafford Council and the clubs, a joint decision was made to postpone the match for safety reasons.’