The flying of a banner reading “White Lives Matter Burnley” over Monday night’s Premier League game was not a criminal offence, UK police have said.
A senior officer acknowledged on Tuesday that the action “caused offence to many people in Lancashire and beyond” as the authorities have identified individuals connected with Burnley who were responsible.
After assessing all the information available, Lancashire police concluded “that there are no criminal offences that have been disclosed at this time”.
“We will continue to work with our partners at the football club and within the local authority”, added Ch Supt Russ Procter.
Lancashire Constabulary has been working closely with Greater Manchester Police, the Aviation Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service throughout the day following the event.
The incident took place above Etihad Stadium in Manchester during a Premier League between Manchester City and Burnley just after kick-off while the players were taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement currently sweeping across the world.
A Burnley supporter associated with the former English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson has been identified as an organiser of the fly-over. He claimed responsibility online just before deleting his social media account.
#TommyRobinson sharing an intimate moment alongside his side bitch #JakeHepple— Mr Dunne #BannedWriter (@CensoredRapPoet) June 23, 2020
Look like a right pair of mugs! 🤣#littlemansyndrome #fearofablackplanet #whitelivesmatterburnley #whitelivesmatter #edl #burnley #blacklivesmatter #riot #protest #racist #racism #antifa #covid19 pic.twitter.com/zgLYmeEj6C
Another person with convictions for football-related violence has also been connected to a WhatsApp group where those involved were looking for funds to finance the fly-over.
Blackpool airports have banned flying banner ads following the controversy and the firm Air Ads is said to have carried out the event.