PUBS in North Trafford have been asked to shut down for Manchester United's FA cup tie against Leeds United early next month, "in the interests of public safety".

Police have distributed a booklet to licensees asking them not to open their doors until 4pm on matchday, January 3, after apparently receiving intelligence reports that clashes between fans could be planned.

Kim O'Brien, landlady of O'Briens pub in Stretford, told the Messenger that the police are now seeking an injunction to stop her pub from opening after she told them that she had no intention to close. "The police want us to police the area for them," she said. "It's discrimination. It's interfering with business."

Kim said that police have told her that bars in Old Trafford Stadium will be serving alcohol between 11am and 1pm. She rang up the ground herself and said she was told that alcohol will be available throughout the match in hospitality suites.

"In 17 and a half years we have never called out the police for a match day disturbance in our pub," she told the Messenger.

A police spokesman said that pubs in the area near Old Trafford stadium have been asked to shut down voluntarily "in the interests of public safety", adding that "it's no secret about the history between Man Utd and Leeds Utd fans."