Over the weekend, the European football club Manchester United was forced to shut down IT systems and confirmed that it had been hit by a sophisticated cyberattack, but said the organization is confident that personal data of fans was not breached.

"The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimize the ongoing IT disruption," the club said in a statement. "Although this is a sophisticated operation by organized cybercriminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this risk. Our cyber defenses identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data."

Manchester United's media channels, including its website and app, was unaffected, and the critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford (where the club hosts its games) remain secure and operational.

The club said extensive protocols and procedures are in place for such cyber incidents and they said they had "rehearsed the risk." Their preparation for such as attack allowed the club cybersecurity team to identify the attack and shut down affected systems in order to contain the damage and protect data as much as possible.

Manchester United informed the Information Commissioner's Office and forensic tracing is being carried out in a bid to establish further detail about the attack.