Manchester United issues banning order to tablets and laptops

Manchester United has celebrated the arrival of its new manager Louis van Gaal by choosing to ban all tablets and laptops from football matches taking place at its Old Trafford stadium.

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The sight of football fans holding up tablets to take photos is set to be a thing of the past after the world’s largest club banned slates and laptops due to “security intelligence” that is in line with checks at worldwide airports.

“In line with UK airports we are reacting to the latest security intelligence. These actions are designed to ensure the continued safety and security of all spectators,” read a statement on the club’s website.

It means that any electronic device larger than 150mm x 100mm won’t be allowed into the ground on a matchday though any camera or smartphone/phablet that is smaller than this, is permitted.

United went on to explain that the way the stadium is set up and different arrival times of spectators means that it is “impractical” to ask all fans to power up devices upon arrival to confirm they are real.

Greater Manchester Police told the BBC that it was not involved in the ban “in any way” and the club added that it hasn’t been done to prevent fans using tablets to record video at matches that blocks the view other supporters have.

The airport rules mentioned above relate to a government announcement in July that all passengers flying into the US or other regions that pass through a UK airport has to demonstrate that a device can be powered up.

It was in response to a “credible” terrorist threat received by US officials and the airport restrictions cover tablets and laptops as well as smartphones, MP3 players and cameras.

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United moving to ban devices could result in a number of other clubs following suit and the sight of oversized screens taking photos at game will become a thing of the past.

Image Credit: Flickr (Debbie Aspin)