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UEFA Story

by msecadm4921

What they said after the UEFA final trouble in Manchester city centre.

Statement from Sir Richard Leese, Manchester City Council Leader:

Published Thursday 15th May 08 in Your Council news
"We are having a full inquiry into the failure of the screen in Piccadilly.

"The vast majority of fans spent a peaceful evening in our city centre in a spirit of friendship and respect. But this has been spoiled by the bad behaviour of a minority. We cannot tolerate missiles and bottles being thrown.

"We are sorry to disappoint Manchester United fans but it is obvious that because of the impact on residents, businesses and city centre users, there can be no big screen showing of the Champions League final."

Clean-up underway

A massive clean-up operation following Rangers 2-0 defeat to Zenit St Petersburg in yesterdays UEFA cup is underway in Manchester city centre.

Hundreds of city council staff have been working round the clock to get the city back to normal as quickly as possible.

More than 200 street cleaning staff and at least 50 council office workers, who’ve volunteered to lend a hand, are working alongside refuse vehicles, compression vehicles and mechanical sweepers.

Early estimates suggest over 100 tons of rubbish has already been collected.

Manchester City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Jim Battle said: "With an event this size it was inevitable there would be lots of waste and because the numbers were so huge, it is no easy task.

"Scores of city workers are hard at it working 24 hours to get Manchester back into a clean state for normal life after the finals."

About three times the usual number of staff are working 12-hour shifts to get the job done.

Teams were out early yesterday to make sure the walking route into the city from the coach parking near Lancashire County Cricket Club at Old Trafford was clean.

And when fans walked on the safe routes to the match at the City of Manchester Stadium and back into the city later, they were followed by a street-cleaning team picking up any litter dropped along the way.

Throughout yesterday street cleaners in each of the three fan zones cleaned up continually, filling up wheelie bins then emptying them into bigger containers that were in turn emptied throughout the day.

PRESS STATEMENT, issued on behalf of Rangers Football Club.

Rangers Football Club issued the following statement in light of incidents involving supporters in Manchester.

Martin Bain, chief executive, said: "The club has had discussions with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council in view of incidents in the city last night.

"The police and council praised the behaviour of the overwhelming majority of Rangers fans and estimates suggest there could have been around 200,000 in the city yesterday.

"There was a tremendous atmosphere all around the city and the vast majority deserved credit for the way they behaved.

"The police and council have identified the failure of a big screen in the city as a key point in the evening. We are deeply disappointed that a small minority soured what was great carnival atmosphere and this is a view shared by our fans who travelled in unprecedented numbers to Manchester.

"We would like to thank everyone in Manchester who made such a great effort to welcome our fans to the city yesterday."

Statement from Eddie Smith, Managing Director of Lightmedia Display of Bradford, the company responsible for all the screens used throughout the fan zones:

"We deeply regret and are very disappointed at the failure of the signal to the screen in Piccadilly Gardens last night – it was due to a technical signalling problem that we are still investigating. Despite all our efforts to strengthen the signal to the screen, it proved impossible. Our other screens in the city centre worked perfectly.

"We are extremely sorry and we fully recognise what a blow this was to the thousands of fans hoping to watch the match."

CITYCO Statement

Commenting on the impact of the UEFA cup final in Manchester city centre Gordon Reid, Chief Executive of Cityco stated, "The huge invasion of fans for the most part had a very positive impact on business in the city centre. Hotels were full, bars and clubs did excellent trade, as did catering establishments. Early reports from mainstream retailing show that some had hoped for better trading results, but others did very well. Harvey Nichols and Selfridges has had two ‘very good’ trading days and had no problems with fans. Foodstores also did very well.

The events of yesterday were very much a one-off and brought challenges, but the city centre is now back to normal after intense work to remove mountains of litter and to open all transport routes. Congratulations to the Council and their staff for their sterling efforts."

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