The city of Manchester is in mourning today, with many of its residents still trying to find a way to process the tragic events of Monday night. The atmosphere around the city’s most famous institution, instead of the usual excitement that should precede a European final, is surreal to say the least.
United have become a global behemoth, with its influence and appeal now stretching to the far corners of the globe. But it is still, at its heart, a local club. It belongs to Manchester and its people, and so the club - staff, players, supporters - must find a way to cope with last night’s devastation.
The club released an official statement expressing shock at the attack which claimed the lives of at least 22 people.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected, including our supporters, club staff and members of our community such as the children from our Manchester United Foundation partner schools who were attending the concert at the Arena.
Club staff are ready to help the police and other emergency services in any way that may be required at this challenging time for our city.
José Mourinho cancelled his pre-match press conference, and the club have also cancelled a planned Europa League final watch party for its staff in Manchester tomorrow. The manager released the following statement:
“We are all very sad about the tragic events last night; we cannot take out of our minds and our hearts the victims and their families.
“We have a job to do and we will fly to Sweden to do that job. It is a pity we cannot fly with the happiness that we always have before a big game.
“I know, even during my short time here, that the people of Manchester will pull together as one.”
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward also spoke on the events, and their effect on the team:
“Words don't really do justice for how we all feel. We're numb. The events were sickening and all our thoughts at the moment are with the victims and the families affected by it.”
“We've got a job to do tomorrow, no question about that, and that hasn't been changed but I think what happened last night really put things into perspective. Success on the pitch really is nothing compared to the pain and suffering going on back home, that is really where our thoughts are at this point in time.”
Several current and former players shared messages of support for the victims and their loved ones, some of which you can read here.