Premier League clubs to discuss fan disorder amid growing concerns

Provisional data shows 800 arrests at English football matches this season

Concerns are growing within the Premier League over the behavior of fans in Premier League stadiums after three players were attacked during last weekend’s matches.

With data showing an increase in turmoil in English football this season, clubs will discuss possible responses to an unwelcome trend at a league meeting this week.

On Monday, Merseyside Police confirmed that a 19-year-old man was charged with assault and throwing an item onto the field after Aston Villa’s Matty Cash and Lucas Digne were hit by a plastic bottle at Goodison Park on Saturday. .

London Metropolitan Police said two men had been arrested following an incident during Chelsea’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when defender Antonio Rüdiger was hit by missiles, including a lighter thrown from the outside.

Provisional data collected by police and revealed by the BBC showed that there were 800 arrests in English football matches this season, an increase of 47% over the 2019-20 comparative period. There were 759 reports of disorder, which include missile launches, up from 560.

The British Home Office says the “interim” data “has not undergone the same quality assurance checks as official end-of-season statistics”. Official figures from the Ministry of the Interior, however, show a sharp increase in the number of arrests for missile crimes in recent years, with 52 arrests in the 2014-15 season more than doubling by the end of the decade, and 72 arrests made in the season. Covid truncated from 2019-20.

The Premier League will meet with the UK Football Policing Unit this week. They will discuss possible coordinated responses with the EFL and Football Association, although clubs often develop their own security policies in conjunction with local police.

On Monday, Chelsea confirmed they were working with police and Tottenham officials to identify any fans involved in the Rüdiger attack and a spokesperson said “we will collectively take the strongest possible measures against them”.

The FA said it would look into two more incidents of disruptive behavior in the top flight after a small number of Manchester City fans stormed the pitch in Southampton after the final whistle, colliding with the stewards, and a drone flew over the Brentford v Wolves match, causing a delay.

“We are investigating incidents of fan disorder at Everton v Aston Villa, Southampton v Manchester City and Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur,” an FA spokesperson said. , [and in all matters] we are in contact with the clubs and the police”.

While the FA does not have the authority to take action against individual fans, it can discipline clubs if they have not done enough to prevent misconduct. – Guardian

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