Away day problems

by | 9 Sep 2016 | 2 comments

Last season, large contingents of Birmingham City fans attended the away games at Fulham and QPR, which are our two Saturday away games this month.  The game at Craven Cottage was a great away day, with good weather, a pleasant ground and the stand vibrating as happy Blues fans celebrated our team scoring five goals. I didn’t go to the QPR game and it sounded like a good one to miss. Blues lost and there were crowd problems around the ground, with Blues fans claiming a lack of organisation from the club, stewards and police. It was a reminder that football fans can get caught up in trouble when they themselves have done nothing wrong.

A year ago, 51 Bristol City fans were rounded up by West Midlands Police whilst trying to come to a game at St Andrew’s. Bristol City Supporters Club and Trust, in conjunction with the Football Supporters Federation (FSF), are taking legal action to secure compensation for those affected and to ensure that the use of dispersal powers is not abused.   Alison Gurden, a barrister with expertise in football policing, has written about the police use of dispersal orders on her blog. Her most recent account is ‘Cambridgeshire Police Persecution of Football Fans’.

I hope that our away days this season will be trouble free.  But if not, and you feel you’ve been treated as a hooligan although you have done nothing wrong, then the FSF’s ‘Fan in Trouble?’ page tells you how to get help.

2 Comments

  1. Blue Baby

    I’m a Chelsea fan, but I have an interest in this as my brother was denied entry to Loftus Road at this game when the stewards claimed he was drunk – he certainly doesn’t deny alcohol was taken, but definitely wasn’t drunk and I believe that stewards/police at away grounds have a target to meet of ejecting fans. An ex-boyfriend was denied entry to Anfield a few years ago for the same reason.

    My elder brother, who was allowed in to Loftus Road, believes that if QPR had been serving alcohol in the ground then supporters wouldn’t be tempted into a serious pre-match guzzle.

    I’d certainly endorse your comment that if anyone who believes they have a grievance should contact the FSF – they do amazing work for supporters.

  2. Chris

    I was at Loftus Rd last season & trying to get a drink anywhere before the match was a joke. We ended up walking miles up the road and actually found a real friendly police man (yes I too was surprised but he really was sound) & he told us the best place to go. We managed to miss the trouble outside before the game but I bumped into a couple of lads at half time we’d met in the pub earlier & they had literally just got in. They said that there was a large group of bluenoses walking down the road all in good spirits having a sing song when the police just rounded on them, they weren’t out looking for trouble but the police assumed they were. As Blue Baby says if they sold beer in the ground then maybe incidents like this can be avoided a fans would get to the ground earlier.

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