United fans: on the road to Rome
United’s victory parade: the plans
Manchester United supporters can look forward to a victory parade in the city IF the Reds triumph over Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League Final. Get the official route map, timings and travel advice right here:
Rioting Rangers fans may have rained on their parade in 2008 but, this year, the United faithful will get the chance to welcome their idols on the streets of Manchester.
United's last victory parade was in 1999
Manchester and Trafford councils have confirmed that there will definitely be a victory parade the day after the final (Thurs 28 May) IF United win.
United's last homecoming in the city was in 1999 when the team won the treble. This time, police have warned that with thousands of fans expected to turn out early, Manchester could be gridlocked for up to EIGHT hours.
So IF United win, what’s going to happen, and when?
Between 4pm and 5pm, depending on what time the players get back from Rome, there will be an official welcoming ceremony in Albert Square when the victorious players will be presented to the crowd.
Numbers will be limited to around 8,000 in the Square. The event will be an all-ticket affair with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Download the route map - see link
Victory parade: the route
Starting at around 5pm from Albert Square, the players will board an open-top bus for a parade through the city centre. The route is as follows: Mount St - Peter St - Deansgate - A56 Chester Rd - Talbot Rd; with the parade ending at Trafford Town Hall.
NB: The victory parade will NOT go past Old Trafford football stadium.
It's expected the bus will take around four hours to get along the route but depending how many people turn up, it could take longer.
2008: fans gathered outside Old Trafford
How many fans?
Estimates suggest that half a million people will line the streets if United retain the Champions League title.
As May 28 falls in the school half-term holidays, many families are expected to come into Manchester early to get a good spot on the route.
Safety is a huge concern after the Rangers riots in May 2008 which prompted the city to cancel any homecoming celebrations after United’s Champions League win in Moscow. But after consulting with Merseyside colleagues who policed Liverpool’s Champions League victory parade in 2005 which attracted 500,000 fans, Greater Manchester Police have cautiously given the plans the OK.
There will be a number of road closures in the city centre if the parade goes ahead with many starting at 6am Thursday and ending at 10pm.
In addition, all the slip roads on and off the Mancunian way will be closed from 6am, but the road will still be open to traffic.
If you live or work in Manchester city centre, here’s some advice:
• the city centre could be gridlocked for up to EIGHT hours;
What happens if Barcelona win?
There will be NO parade if United lose the Champions League Final.
last updated: 27/05/2009 at 12:46