The man in charge of the security operation at Old Trafford a convicted thief has been sacked following a shocking rant at a fan.
It has been reveal that Riyaz Patel, who mixed with players and was frequently in the dressing room, has been sacked by Controlled Solutions Group (CSG) — the firm which has looked after Manchester United’s security since 2012.
Sources have revealed that operations manager Patel, whose remit included the safety of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players, was recorded issuing an expletive-laden rebuke to a fan in a club car park. He was dismissed following an investigation.
Patel, who oversaw up to 1,000 stewards, stole £26,000 from his brother’s post office and was found guilty of 29 counts of theft in 2002. He received 100 hours’ community service and was ordered to repay £11,000 of the stolen cash, which he took while working at the branch near Preston, Lancashire.
United were aware of Patel’s conviction and it is understood that they had no issues with his employment at CSG, believing that the rehabilitation process should be trusted. He was also in possession of a valid Security Industry Authority licence.
Patel, 43, rowed with a supporter outside the ground on a matchday. The fan then switched on a recording device on their mobile phone before the argument erupted again and the security chief’s verbal volley was captured.
Patel’s departure is the latest embarrassment in a long tale of security issues at Old Trafford. In 2016, a dummy bomb left on a training exercise caused the stadium to be evacuated and saw their match with Bournemouth abandoned.
Later that year, a pair of fans slept in a stadium toilet overnight after taking a tour the day before a Premier League fixture with Arsenal.
In 2017 climbers broke into the ground, and last year a fan ran on to the pitch during a match against Juventus. United and CSG declined to comment.