January 29, 2020 / 9:03 AM / 25 days ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Police investigate attack on United CEO's home

(Adds police statement, background)

MANCHESTER, England, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Police are investigating an attack on the home of Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward by people in hoods.

A video posted on social media showed the group gathered outside the house in Cheshire chanting threats towards Woodward and throwing red flares over the gate. British media reported that neither Woodward, 48, nor his family were home.

"At around 10.45pm on Tuesday 28 January, Cheshire police were notified of an incident of criminal damage that had taken place earlier this evening with a large group targeting a property in the Nether Peover area," Cheshire Constabulary said in a statement.

"Thankfully no-one was harmed, and officers will liaise with security officials over the coming days to establish the full circumstances surrounding this incident and identify those involved".

United are fifth in the Premier League, 33 points adrift of leaders and arch-rivals Liverpool, and Woodward has been the target of blame from the fans for the club's recent struggles.

United said any fan found guilty of a crime or of trespassing at the property would be banned for life.

"We know that the football world will unite behind us as we work with Greater Manchester Police to identify the perpetrators of this unwarranted attack," the club said in a statement.

At recent games, United fans have chanted against Woodward and the club's American owners, the Glazer family.

Woodward, an accountant and investment banker, first entered the world of football when he advised the Glazer family on their takeover of the club in 2005. Some United supporters blame the club's declining performance on the cost of servicing debt it has carried since the Glazers acquired it. (Writing by Ken Ferris and Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis and Peter Graff)

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