"I'm proud of how our staff responded" - Ed Woodward praises staff after yesterday's Old Trafford evacuation

The Manchester United executive vice-chairman made the comments in a statement released by the club addressing yesterday's terror scare

"I'm proud of how our staff responded" - Ed Woodward praises staff after yesterday's Old Trafford evacuation

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ed Woodward has praised the action taken by Old Trafford staff after Manchester United's match against Bournemouth was abandoned after the discovery of a "suspect package".

The stadium was evacuated and United's final game of the season will be played tomorrow.

In a statement released by the club today the Manchester United executive vice-chairman said: "The safety of the fans is our number one aim at every event we host at Old Trafford.  Overall, I'm proud of how our staff responded."

The statement lists out 'facts', one of which stated: "Following investigation, the device proved to have been left in error following the training of dog handlers by a sub contractor.

"The contractor had signed the device as having been recovered along with the 13 other devices at the end of the exercise. That device could not have been detected by sniffer dogs on the routine matchday search of the 100 Club, as it contained no explosives and was used in an exercise training handlers not dogs.

Security with sniffer dogs search the stands ground during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Image: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/Press Association Images

"Once a live situation was identified, the club and police had no option but to treat the matter as a potential terror threat; we could not have assumed it was a training exercise error. Presented with the same situation in the future, we would take the same action.

"We have worked very closely with the police and counter-terrorism specialists for many years now and enjoy their support on a daily basis."

The club say they will "work closely with Greater Manchester Police to ensure that robust security measures" are in place for tomorrow night's game and in future.

"We are conducting a detailed evaluation with the help of the police and will share our findings across the rest of the game. Valuable lessons will have been learned from yesterday’s events and it is important that those are shared with other stadium operators to ensure that the safety of the public remains the first duty of us all."