After a week in which Liverpool fans were cleared of any blame for the loss of 96 supporters' lives at Hillsborough in 1989, there are fears the chant could inflame tensions ahead of United's trip to Anfield a week on Sunday.
United responded to the chants by imploring supporters to adhere to the demand of the United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Friday that hostilities between the clubs should cease. A United spokesperson said: "The club deplore it. The manager has made the club's position very clear on this matter; it's now up to the fans to respect that."
The Manchester United Supporters' Trust released a statement condemning "any chants relating to Hillsborough or indeed any other human tragedy" but making clear that there was "nothing specifically referencing Hillsborough" in Saturday's anti-Liverpool chanting.
The song in question has been sung ever since the Luis Suárez-Patrice Evra incident in the corresponding Anfield fixture last season, after which the Uruguayan was found guilty of aiming racist slurs at the French left-back, receiving an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine.
While a minority of United fans have directed chants at Liverpool regarding Hillsborough for a number of years, a Liverpool minority have also sung songs referring to the Munich air disaster of 1958 in which 23 people died.
Earlier in the week Ferguson said he hoped the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel would lead to an end to hostile chants between both sets of supporters, particularly when the sides meet at Anfield.
"I think fans will be on their best behaviour," he said. "It's a moment for two great clubs to show why they are two great clubs. I don't anticipate any problems. There are opportunities to show your greatness and this is one.
"It shouldn't need what's happened during the week to do that. I think Sandy Busby [son of Sir Matt, the former manager] wrote a great article about it, the two great clubs, ourselves and Liverpool, how they should understand each other's problems over the past. Both clubs have suffered tremendous fatalities through football and you would hope that maybe this is the line in the sand in terms of how supporters behave towards one another."
The United Supporters' Trust statement agreed with those sentiments, adding: "We enjoy a fierce rivalry [with Liverpool] but these issues transcend that rivalry. We agree 100% with the statement made by Sir Alex Ferguson – this is the time for supporters of these two great clubs to represent their clubs with the integrity and honour that our glorious history demands."
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