Manchester United postpones final EPL game due to fake bomb left by mistake from training exercise

A scary situation occurred when what appeared to be a bomb was found near the Sir Alex Ferguson stand near the Stretford End at Old Trafford. As a precaution, Manchester United’s final Premier League match of the season against Bournemouth was postponed until this Tuesday.

The team and security crews took the matter very seriously but quickly but calmly evacuating the stadium and then had Greater Manchester Police dismantle the bomb. What they discovered was something that should’ve been prevented. The “bomb” was in fact a fake that was used in a training exercise earlier that week to test bomb sniffing dogs that was never recovered.

From Rob Harris of the Associated Press:

It’s important that while it wound up being a lapse in cleaning up after a training exercise, everyone took things seriously and did an exemplary job. While this was a hoax, the next time this happens may be the real thing. Having said that, the Greater Manchester Police had similar sentiments but also criticized the team for this situation arising in the first place.

Not to make light on this potentially serious situation because surely everyone made the right decision with the information they had at the time. In a soccer sense, this has caused some logistical headaches. Not knowing when they were going to play, Bournemouth flew back to the south coast of England and thus couldn’t play tomorrow. Wednesday is the UEFA Europa League Final and with Liverpool participating, English TV networks would not want to have both on at the same time. And then since Manchester United is in the FA Cup Final, Thursday and Friday as well as the weekend was out. So Tuesday was the only day.

As far as the position implications go, this was the last weekend of the English Premier League season. Now as far as positions for both Manchester United and Bournemouth, Manchester United’s European status will be unchanged. United is going to the UEFA Europa League next year. However, a win or draw will move Man United up from 6th to 5th. A Bournemouth draw can move them from 16th to 15th and a win to 14th. While that may not mean much, each position is the difference of a few million pounds in TV money a team receives at the end of the season.

In the end, we’re all very fortunate that after all this, we’re talking about a training exercise fake bomb and able to discuss soccer. As we saw last year in Paris, this could have easily been something worse and much more tragic than what actually happened. Good to know that even if it was a fake bomb mistakenly placed, the Manchester United staff and police treated it with the utmost sincerity and showed they are on top of things.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp