A group suspected to be fans of Manchester United have attacked the home of Ed Woodward, the Executive Vice Chairman of the club.
Videos circulating on social media showed a gang of around 20 hooded supporters – some of whom are believed to be members of United’s notorious “Men In Black” hooligan firm – targeting the £2 million Cheshire mansion of Woodward on Tuesday.
Some of the attackers were seen throwing a red flare over a large gate, while others sang songs aimed at the 48-year-old, including chants of he was “going to die”.
Woodward, who is married with two young children, was not present at the time.
Manchester United in a statement said anyone committing a criminal offence or trespassing will be banned for life.
“Fans expressing opinion is one thing, criminal damage and intent to endanger life is another. There is simply no excuse for this.
“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 statement read.
Woodward has been the subject of growing supporter discontent at United in recent weeks.
Manchester United sit fifth in the English Premier League – 33 points behind leaders Liverpool – and Woodward has been the target of blame by many fans.
Both at the recent home game against Burnley and Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Tranmere, supporters have sung the same song about Woodward and made repeated calls for the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, to leave.
The incident is reminiscent of another attack, in 2004, on the car of then club director Maurice Watkins, whose shares ended up being bought by Malcolm Glazer as his bid for the club gathered pace.
Woodward advised Malcolm Glazer and the Glazer family during its successful takeover of the club in 2005 before being recruited as a senior member of staff.