Portugal’s travel ban WILL be lifted next week bringing relief to football fans and tourists

Relief for Chelsea and Manchester City fans as Portugal LIFTS its travel ban from next week in time for the Champions League final – and Ryanair lays on four extra flights for the game, with normal £100 return flights to Lisbon now £565!

  • Fans of the Champions League finalists and  tourists were left in limbo over travel
  • Portugal has been added to the UK’s ‘green list’ from Monday meaning travellers do not need to quarantine when they return to the UK after visiting the country 
  • But there was confusion after it emerged Portugal’s own travel restrictions on non EU counties, which apply to the UK, may not be lifted until May 30 

Portugal will allow visitors from the UK to enter the country from Monday next week, bringing relief to thousands of UK tourists and football fans.

Chelsea play Manchester City in the rearranged Champions League final on May 29 in Porto with many fans having already bought plane tickets and booked accommodation.

Thousands more tourists had booked holidays in anticipation of a post-lockdown celebration after Portugal was added to the UK’s green travel list.

However, all their plans were plunged into doubt after it emerged Portugal’s own travel restrictions for non-EU countries, which apply to the UK, may not be lifted until May 30.

However, the country’s official travel website, Visit Portugal, has now published a statement confirming British tourists can enter Portugal from midnight Sunday.

Chelsea fans celebrate outside the ground after beating Real Madrid 2-0 in their semi-final

‘The Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs announced today that British tourists will be allowed to enter Portugal as of 00:00 17th of May, the statement said.

This decision will revoke the essential travel restriction, that is in place until the 16th of May.’  

Manchester City and Chelsea will face off in the fixture, which was set to take place in Istanbul

Manchester City and Chelsea will face off in the fixture, which was set to take place in Istanbul

Advertisement

Manchester United fans protest against the Glazers again before Liverpool game

Tensions threatened to boil over again outside Old Trafford after Manchester United fans gathered once more to protest the Glazer ownership ahead of their rescheduled match with Liverpool.  

Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to Old Trafford after their May 2 clash was postponed after fans broke into Old Trafford and invaded the pitch before kick-off.

United have bolstered security presence ahead of tonight’s fixture, due to kick off at 8.15pm BST, with dozens of security staff and Greater Manchester Police officers seen preparing additional barriers outside Old Trafford.

Supporters have flocked to United’s ground in their masses to voice their grumblings with the club’s American billionaire owners, letting off yellow and green flares while displaying anti-Glazer banners. 

Tensions threatened to boil over at Old Trafford as Man United fans gathered in protest again

Anti-Glazer protesters have congregated to voice their grumblings over the Glazer ownership

Anti-Glazer protesters have congregated to voice their grumblings over the Glazer ownership

United fans are desperate for their billionaire owners to sell up after years of steady decline 

United’s pre-match preparations have been altered in anticipation of further protests

United have bolstered police and security presence as a result of the chaos earlier this month

United have bolstered police and security presence as a result of the chaos earlier this month

There had been concerns over a delay to tonight’s kick off after images circulating on social media showed a vehicle believed to be an official Liverpool bus blocked off in a side street in Manchester.

The Athletic reporter Daniel Taylor said that the tyres of the bus had been slashed and police were swiftly on the scene to ensure that the vehicle could move on.

However, Klopp’s squad appear to not have been on that bus, with his side seen arriving at Old Trafford in a black coach at roughly 7pm, an hour and 15 minutes before kick off. 

Ahead of the rearranged date tonight, security staff took every precaution in formulating a plan well in advance to prevent a repeat protest from fans. 

A Liverpool bus was reportedly blocked and had its tyres let down ahead of United game

A Liverpool bus was reportedly blocked and had its tyres let down ahead of United game

Images on social media showed an official bus blocked off in a side street in Manchester

Images on social media showed an official bus blocked off in a side street in Manchester

Police swiftly set about getting the bus moving in a bid to avoid a repeat of the chaos on May 2

Police swiftly set about getting the bus moving in a bid to avoid a repeat of the chaos on May 2 

United stars also altered their normal routine as they drove themselves into Old Trafford in the early afternoon to beat fans to the stadium, having found themselves barricaded in the Lowry Hotel when chaos dominated the build-up to the original meeting. 

‘Nothing different for us, the most important thing for us now is to focus on the game,’ United star Bruno Fernandes told Sky Sports from inside Old Trafford. 

Thursday’s protests are understood to be ‘calm and peaceful’, according to Sky Sports, with large swathes of fans gathering in their masses to let off yellow and green flares while displaying anti-Glazer banners. 

Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that United mounted a top-secret operation to stop anti-Glazer protesters from disrupting their plans for Thursday’s re-arranged clash with Liverpool.

Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in a black coach, different to the coach that had been blocked

Liverpool arrived at Old Trafford in a black coach, different to the coach that had been blocked

German coach Jurgen Klopp departs the team bus as the squad arrived at Old Trafford

German coach Jurgen Klopp departs the team bus as the squad arrived at Old Trafford

Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino gets off the team coach before the game on Thursday

Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino gets off the team coach before the game on Thursday 

United have adopted a siege mentality, with players sworn to secrecy prior to the day of the game over their preparations and staff were given information on a need-to-know basis to avoid leaks and limit the security threat.

The club are trying to prevent a repeat of the scenes that caused the fixture to be postponed 11 days ago when protesters blocked the team from leaving the Lowry Hotel and hundreds more clashed with police at Old Trafford.

Last week, the departure time from Carrington for the Europa League semi-final against Roma in Italy was kept under wraps until the last minute amid rumours that fans might try to sabotage the team bus en route to Manchester Airport.

The players stayed at home before Tuesday’s game against Leicester and were only told on Monday night to meet at the training ground before travelling to the stadium.

Players arrived at the ground this afternoon in a bid to avoid delays seen earlier this month

Players arrived at the ground this afternoon in a bid to avoid delays seen earlier this month 

Security has been bolstered ahead of tonight's top flight game with added police presence

Security has been bolstered ahead of tonight’s top flight game with added police presence 

Sportsmail understands plans changed again ahead of Thursday night’s game against Liverpool. There was visibly tighter security to prevent further disturbances after it became the first Premier League fixture to be called off due to a protest.

United showed off a heavy police presence for the home game against Leicester on Tuesday, the first match at Old Trafford since the Liverpool postponement.

A 10ft high red wall was erected at the south-east corner of the stadium – where protesters twice broke in and got onto the pitch – as well the north forecourt in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

Additional steel barriers were also put in place as part of the heightened security operation.

Having prepared for a peaceful protest last time out which then descended into violence, the club are now trying to ensure that their three remaining home games of the season go ahead safely.

Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called for calm following the ugly scenes at the start of the month, asking fans to keep the peace if they are to protest and make their voices heard once again.

The United boss said: ‘Security measures are being looked at, of course, and I hope that we can keep the protests – if there are protests – down to loud voices, nothing violent.

‘We want to listen. The players want to play the game.

‘We play Liverpool. Of course we want to beat Liverpool, we want to beat Leicester. So, we’re going to do everything we can for our fans to celebrate what we’re doing on the pitch.’ 

Liverpool team bus ‘is BLOCKED from getting to Old Trafford and has tyres let down’

Liverpool team bus ‘is BLOCKED from getting to Old Trafford and has tyres let down as Man United fans appear to make attempts to get match called off for a second time’ – but confusion reigns over whether players are actually on board a second vehicle

A vehicle believed to be Liverpool’s team bus has reportedly been blocked and had its tyres let down ahead of the Reds’ visit to Manchester United for their rescheduled Premier League fixture.

Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to Old Trafford after their May 2 clash was postponed after fans broke into Old Trafford and invaded the pitch before kick-off.

United have bolstered security presence ahead of tonight’s fixture, due to kick off at 8.15pm BST, with dozens of security staff and Greater Manchester Police officers seen preparing additional barriers outside Old Trafford.

However, images on Twitter show Liverpool’s squad have encountered a delay. 

According to The Athletic’s Daniel Taylor, an official Liverpool bus’ tyres have been let down after being blocked in a side street near the team hotel. 

Police swiftly set about clearing the road with a reported 50 fans at the scene, and the bus was seen on the move again behind a police van.  

More to follow.  

Liverpool’s bus has reportedly been blocked and had its tyres let down ahead of United game

Advertisement


Man United: Security arrive at Old Trafford more than SIX hours before kick-off against Liverpool

Security personnel and police arrive at Old Trafford more than SIX hours before kick-off against Liverpool as Manchester United look to foil a repeat of anti-Glazers protest… with players travelling early to beat fans!

  • Manchester United bolstered their security operation ahead of facing Liverpool
  • The original fixture was the first Premier League game called off due to protests
  • A large number of police and security staff were photographed at Old Trafford 
  • Players were also advised to arrive early in their cars to avoid meeting fans

Dozens of security staff and Greater Manchester Police officers were seen preparing additional barriers outside Old Trafford more than six hours before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are due to take on Liverpool. 

The original match was forced into a postponement after Manchester United fans broke into Old Trafford and invaded the pitch before kick-off. 

Ahead of the rearranged date tonight, security staff took every precaution in formulating a plan well in advance to prevent a repeat protest from fans. 

Players also altered their normal routine as they drove themselves into Old Trafford in the early afternoon to beat fans to the stadium having found themselves barricaded in the Lowry Hotel when chaos dominated the build-up to the original meeting.  

A large security presence was seen at Old Trafford more than six hours before facing Liverpool

Players, such as Bruno Fernandes, were instructed to drive their own cars to Old Trafford

Players, such as Bruno Fernandes, were instructed to drive their own cars to Old Trafford

Players and staff were met by security upon arrival as they looked to beat fans to the ground

Players and staff were met by security upon arrival as they looked to beat fans to the ground

Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that United  mounted a top-secret operation to stop anti-Glazer protesters from disrupting their plans for Thursday’s re-arranged clash with Liverpool.

United have adopted a siege mentality, with players sworn to secrecy prior to the day of the game over their preparations and staff were given information on a need-to-know basis to avoid leaks and limit the security threat.

The club are trying to prevent a repeat of the scenes that caused the fixture to be postponed 11 days ago when protesters blocked the team from leaving the Lowry Hotel and hundreds more clashed with police at Old Trafford. 

Last week, the departure time from Carrington for the Europa League semi-final against Roma in Italy was kept under wraps until the last minute amid rumours that fans might try to sabotage the team bus en route to Manchester Airport. 

Edinson Cavani was seen in his white BMW on Thursday afternoon as he drove to the ground

Edinson Cavani was seen in his white BMW on Thursday afternoon as he drove to the ground

Police, as well as security officials, were well stocked outside the ground for the fixture

Police, as well as security officials, were well stocked outside the ground for the fixture

The players stayed at home before Tuesday’s game against Leicester and were only told on Monday night to meet at the training ground before travelling to the stadium.

Sportsmail understands plans changed again ahead of Thursday night’s game against Liverpool. There was visibly tighter security to prevent further disturbances after it became the first Premier League fixture to be called off due to a protest.

United showed off a heavy police presence for the home game against Leicester on Tuesday, the first match at Old Trafford since the Liverpool postponement.

A 10ft high red wall was erected at the south-east corner of the stadium – where protesters twice broke in and got onto the pitch – as well the north forecourt in front of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. 

Additional steel barriers were also put in place as part of the heightened security operation. 

Having prepared for a peaceful protest last time out which then descended into violence, the club are now trying to ensure that their three remaining home games of the season go ahead safely. 

More to follow.   

Advertisement


Premier League’s new £4.5bn TV deal comes with demand they pay lower leagues £100m annually

Premier League set to seal new rollover £4.5BILLION broadcasting deal… but only ‘after agreeing to Government demands that they pay lower league teams an extra £100m a season in solidarity payments’

  • Premier League set to confirm extension to existing deal worth around £4.5bn
  • But UK government insist new deal will see more money paid to lower leagues 
  • New £100m top up deal to come on top of existing £140m ‘solidarity payments’

The Premier League have agreed to pay an extra £100million to lower division and grassroots clubs in order to secure Government backing for a new three-year domestic television deal.

As reported by Sportsmail, the 20 clubs approved the £4.5billion contract extension with Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime on Wednesday.

That decision came after being told that the price of avoiding a competitive tender would be increased funding for the rest of the sport. 

The Premier League are set to confirm an extension to an existing TV deal worth £4.5bn

The extra £100m will be paid on top of the £124m the Premier League already contribute on so-called solidarity payments and will got to the EFL, non-League, women’s football and grassroots.

The top-up funding, which will be spread over the three years of the new TV contract running from 2022 to 2025, represents a victory for EFL chairman Rick Parry.

Parry has been lobbying the Government to increase pressure on the Premier League to provide further help to the lower divisions since the start of the pandemic.  

The move will extend the current deal until 2025 and will protect the finances of top tier clubs

The move will extend the current deal until 2025 and will protect the finances of top tier clubs

The Government still need to sign off the new deal, but that is regarded as a formality.

As with the existing arrangements, Sky will have the rights to 128 matches a season, four of the seven packages, while BT Sport have 52 matches in two packages, and Amazon have one package of 20 matches.

In addition, BBC has the main highlights package to continue with Match of the Day.  

Advertisement

Manchester United launch operation to avoid leaks to protestors

Top secret! Manchester United launch operation to foil anti-Glazer protesters as they look to ensure pre-match plans for re-arranged Liverpool clash are not leaked – with players sworn to secrecy and some staff deliberately kept out the loop

  • Manchester United are desperate to avoid further security issues on Thursday
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face Liverpool in their re-arranged league fixture 
  • United have sworn their players to secrecy over pre-match plans for the clash
  • Last time they were scheduled to meet, earlier in May, protests scuppered clash 

Manchester United have mounted a top-secret operation to stop anti-Glazer protesters from disrupting their plans for Thursday’s re-arranged clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

United have adopted a siege mentality, with players sworn to secrecy over their preparations and staff given information on a need-to-know basis to avoid leaks and limit the security threat.

The club are trying to prevent a repeat of the scenes that caused the fixture to be postponed 11 days ago when protesters blocked the team from leaving the Lowry Hotel and hundreds more clashed with police at Old Trafford.

Man United have launched an operation to avoid protestors knowing their matchday plans

United are aware of the ongoing threat and have kept their plans a closely-guarded secret since then.

Last week, the departure time from Carrington for the Europa League semi-final against Roma in Italy was kept under wraps until the last minute amid rumours that fans might try to sabotage the team bus en route to Manchester Airport.

The players stayed at home before Tuesday’s game against Leicester and were only told on Monday night to meet at the training ground before travelling to the stadium.

Sportsmail understands that the plans are likely to change again on Thursday night against Liverpool. There will be tight security to prevent further disturbances after it became the first Premier League fixture to be called off due to a protest.

Security has been tightened around Old Trafford to ensure their Liverpool clash goes ahead

Security has been tightened around Old Trafford to ensure their Liverpool clash goes ahead

United have built a 10-foot wall and installed steel barriers to protect the most vulnerable areas of Old Trafford, including the corner of the stadium where fans twice broke in and got on to the pitch.

There was an increased police presence and more stewards on duty when United played Leicester, although the game against rivals Liverpool has always been considered a greater risk. 

Both clubs have American owners who were involved in the collapsed European Super League. The fiasco re-ignited anti-Glazer sentiment at United and led to club security being ramped up.

United fans stormed the pitch ahead of the fixture 11 days ago, leading to a postponement

United fans stormed the pitch ahead of the fixture 11 days ago, leading to a postponement 

The number of stewards at Carrington has increased significantly from 15 to around 50 since a mob with banners broke in to protest last month.

A new barrier was installed last week, with some staff now comparing the training complex to Fort Knox.

Although protesters claimed the Liverpool postponement as a victory over the Glazers, it led to United being made to play four times in eight days and defeat to Leicester confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions.

Advertisement


IOC left humiliated after protestor passing as a Yahoo Sports reporter infiltrates Zoom briefing

IOC left humiliated after protestor passing as a Yahoo Sports reporter infiltrates Zoom briefing to shout ‘f*** the Olympics’ as anti-Tokyo 2020 sentiment grows amid growing coronavirus cases in Japan

  • The International Olympics Committee held a press briefing on Wednesday 
  • The final question was to be asked by a person purporting to work for Yahoo
  •  However, the individual turned out to be a protestor, who shouted ‘No Olympics’

The International Olympic Committee were left embarrassed last night after their own media briefing was hijacked by a protestor shouting ‘f*** the Olympics’.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams was about to wrap up the virtual press conference when he took one final question from a person purporting to be a Yahoo reporter named David O’Brien.

However, the apparent journalist was actually an anti-Games demonstrator, who appeared on screen holding a banner which read ‘No Olympics in Tokyo 2020’.

Spokesperson Mark Adams was in charge of an IOC press briefing hijacked by a protestor

Claiming to be a Yahoo Sports reporter, the protestor swore on camera as he made his point

Claiming to be a Yahoo Sports reporter, the protestor swore on camera as he made his point

The protestor chanted, ‘No Olympics anywhere, f*** the Olympics, we don’t want the Olympics anywhere’, before he was cut off.

It was a humiliating end to a briefing which had been dominated by questions about whether the Games will go ahead given rising coronavirus case numbers in Japan and the growing public opposition to holding them.

Adams said: ‘We are now very much in an implementation phase with 78 days to go and fully concentrated on delivering the Games.

‘When the Games happen and the Japanese people are proud hosts of an event that will be an historic moment, I think I am very confident we will see public opinion hugely in favour of the Games.’

Adams’ assurances came at the same time a Japanese website reported that Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike was having doubt about staging the Games. Even though the IOC have the ultimate say, any wavering from the local Tokyo government could be significant

There is fierce protest in Tokyo to the staging of the Games, given the rise of coronavirus cases

There is fierce protest in Tokyo to the staging of the Games, given the rise of coronavirus cases

Advertisement

Dowden reinforces Government’s commitment to Online Harms Bill during visit to League One Charlton

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden reinforces Government’s commitment to Online Harms Bill during visit to League One club Charlton

  • Dowden reinforced commitment to introducing the Online Harms Bill 
  • He met members of Charlton’s men and women’s squad and staff on Tuesday 
  • English football has been rocked by an alarming increase in online abuse 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden reinforced the Government’s commitment to introducing the Online Harms Bill during a low-key visit to League One club Charlton on Tuesday.

The new legislation, which will make social media firms such as Twitter and Instagram accountable for content on their platforms, was officially unveiled in the Queen’s Speech with Whitehall aiming to have the law enforceable by the end of the year.

In recent months English football has been rocked by an alarming increase in sickening cases of online abuse directed at footballers on their social media accounts.

New legislation will make social media firms accountable for content on their platforms 

And Dowden, the secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, met members of Charlton’s men and women’s squad and staff on Tuesday to update them on the forthcoming law changes, which should significantly reduce examples of online hate.

Dowden spoke personally to manager Nigel Adkins and first team coach Jason Euell to emphasise the Government’s determination to ensure the new legislation is passed through Parliament as quickly as possible.

The MP also personally praised Charlton for their community and equality, diversity and inclusion work.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden met members of Charlton players and staff on Tuesday

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden met members of Charlton players and staff on Tuesday

Sportsmail understands chair of the FA’s inclusion advisory board Paul Elliott, who started his career at Charlton, facilitated Dowden’s visit to the south London club.

Elliott, who was also at Charlton, has been working closely with FA chief executive Mark Bullingham in the governing body’s fight against online hate and discrimination within English football.

Anti-racism organisation Kick It Out has welcomed the announcement of the Online Harms Bill in the Queen’s Speech.

English football has been rocked by an alarming increase of online abuse directed at players

English football has been rocked by an alarming increase of online abuse directed at players 

‘We are calling for it to be enacted in legislation as soon as possible,’ read a statement.

‘Social media companies must be held to account for protecting their users. It is therefore vital that any legislative and regulatory frameworks are robust and effective in requiring social media companies to do more to prevent, detect and remove discriminatory abuse from their platforms.

‘This opportunity must be seized to ensure that individuals and communities are protected from toxic online abuse.’

Advertisement

Prince William to attend FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium

Prince William to attend FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium along with 20,000 supporters as part of the last pilot event for return of fans in stadiums

  • Prince William will attend this weekend’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium
  • The Duke of Cambridge is the president of the FA and attend the final every year
  • The final will be contested by Chelsea and Leicester City on Saturday afternoon
  • The Duke will be joined by 20,000 socially-distanced supporters at Wembley 
  • This year’s final is the last UK Government pilot event ahead of the return of fans

Prince William will be attending this weekend’s FA Cup final along with 20,000 supporters at Wembley Stadium. 

The final, which will be contested by Chelsea and Leicester City, is the final pilot test event ahead of the regular return of fans from May 17, as per the UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. 

The Duke of Cambridge is the president of the Football Association (FA) and attends the Wembley showpiece event every year and presents the winning team with the trophy. 

Prince William will attend this weekend’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester City

More to follow.  

Advertisement

Conor McGregor reveals interest in acquiring shares at Celtic and reiterates soft spot for Man Utd

Conor McGregor reveals interest in acquiring shares at Celtic and reiterates his soft spot for Manchester United… with UFC superstar insisting ‘I could do big things for a football club!’

  • Conor McGregor has previously stated his interest in buying Manchester United
  • But now the Irish MMA star says he’s held talks about acquiring shares in Celtic
  • He has held talks with Irish billionaire and largest shareholder Dermot Desmond 
  • McGregor has spoken of his admiration for Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson 
  • United fans have protested in recent weeks about the Glazer owners at the club 

UFC star Conor McGregor has revealed talks about acquiring shares from Celtic’s largest shareholder Dermot Desmond amid continued interest in buying shares in a football club. 

The Irishman, 32, declared his interest in buying Manchester United a few weeks ago in the wake of the collapsed European Super League plans and continued fan unrest against the Glazer ownership. 

And while ‘The Notorious’ said United were a ‘team I liked for sure’, he admitted in a Twitter Q&A that he has held talks with about acquiring shares in 51-time Scottish champions Celtic. 

Irish billionaire Desmond, 70, is the largest individual shareholder at Celtic with 34.7 per cent of shares

Conor McGregor (L) says he’s held talks to acquire shares in Celtic from Dermot Desmond (R)

McGregor has previously stated his interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazers

McGregor has previously stated his interest in buying Manchester United from the Glazers 

The 'Notorious' responded to a question in a Twitter Q&A about his interest in owning a club

The ‘Notorious’ responded to a question in a Twitter Q&A about his interest in owning a club 

In response to a question asking: ‘Are you actually going to buy Manchester United???’, McGregor said: ‘A conversation came up regarding Celtic first to be honest. To acquire shares from Dermot Desmond. 

‘I am certainly interested in acquiring a sports team at some stage! Both Celtic and Man United are teams I like for sure. But I am open. I feel I could do big things for a club.’ 

Irish billionaire Desmond, 70, is the largest individual shareholder at Celtic with 34.7 per cent of shares, who insisted as recently as March that his shares were not for sale. 

Desmond also previously held a stake in Man United, but he then sold out to Malcolm Glazer when the American family took over the club in 2005. 

McGregor’s net worth, according to April estimates from Forbes, stands at an estimated £181m. 

The UFC superstar has previously revealed his admiration for the Red Devils as a youngster

The UFC superstar has previously revealed his admiration for the Red Devils as a youngster

McGregor previously asked his 8.6m Twitter followers if he should buy the Old Trafford club

McGregor previously asked his 8.6m Twitter followers if he should buy the Old Trafford club

In the years since the Glazers took over at Old Trafford, their ownership of the club has been met with fierce opposition from supporters. 

That anger has been exacerbated in recent weeks after the Super League fallout, with United’s game against Liverpool last weekend postponed as a result of fan protests at Old Trafford. 

Supporters broke into the stadium, entered the dressing room area and invaded the pitch, with more protests set to be planned this week for home games against Leicester on Tuesday and the rescheduled clash against Liverpool on Thursday. 

McGregor previously revealed that United’s history of success, as well as ties with Irish stars such as Roy Keane and Dennis Irwin, attracted him to the club as a youngster.

‘I was attracted to the success and winning mentality of the club and people surrounded by United. Irish legends like Denis Irwin and Roy Keane were dedicated to their craft and had that winning mentality. 

‘Roy Keane was one of the best midfielders European football has ever seen. Opponents would be mentally beaten before they’d even stepped on to the pitch to face him.’ 

McGregor, 32, was an admirer of Roy Keane given his mental fortitude over opponents

McGregor, 32, was an admirer of Roy Keane given his mental fortitude over opponents

McGregor also described legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson as ‘the don of football’. 

‘Then they had the don of football at the helm, the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. To have that much success over such a long period is remarkable and something I continue to aspire to. 

‘And he did it by nurturing youngsters into stars and not by spending and spending and spending like some of these other managers. It’s been great to see Sir Alex getting back to full health and continuing to be at the United games. What passion! I wish him and his family all the best.’ 

Advertisement