We’re not suggesting fans who support different teams are incapable of sitting together, but we do recognise the reality that many fans have issues with significant numbers of away fans in home sections, and particularly in the South Stand, that was heavily marketed as the heart of the home support. So we pushed for the Club to explain its approach, in response to the many fans who have contacted us on this subject since the Liverpool game last weekend.
Regarding the protocol for ejecting away fans from inside the stadium bowl and on the concourse, the Club told us that the main priority is always the safety of everyone inside the stadium. The Control Room will be managing any number of incidents at any one time, including people being taken ill, suffering accidents / injuries, missing children etc, and will prioritise the resources at its disposal to manage the overall safety of everyone in the stadium. If away fans are identified, stewards will intervene wherever it is safest to do so (for stewards and other fans in the area) and tell them to leave. If they refuse, stewards will eject them, following consultation with the Control Room. In the bowl, this can take 6 to 7 stewards, whereas on the concourse it can take half that number. Both methods can be very time consuming. This is in the context of anything else that might be going on in the stadium that requires steward support. So it is a case of prioritisation, dependent on other incidents occurring simultaneously across the stadium.
We thank the Club for providing an explanation of its approach and hope this helps supporters to understand the issues and challenges involved.
We have made a number of responses to the Club. The first is that, while it is useful for us to get this information, we would prefer the Club to communicate this to supporters directly. We’ve made the point that what is briefed does not always appear to be the same as what happens on the ground, and asked that this be monitored. We’ve also suggested that if half and half scarves are a security issue, the Club shop should refrain from stocking those at any games.
We’ve asked that the Club more clearly publicises how Spurs fans can raise the issue of away fans in home sections on the spot. Fans are encouraged to either report to their closest steward or to report via the text line (07537404821) in real time, along with their location (block/row/seat) and the location of the away fan.
We’ve asked that the Club amplifies the rules around supporters passing on and selling home tickets, which is a contributory cause of this issue. They have agreed to do this, in the match attenders’ email and elsewhere.
We’ve also asked for figures on how many away fans are ejected from home areas on a game by game basis, but this is something the Club is reluctant to do outside exceptional circumstances such as the Red Star game. However, the Club has told us that 20 away fans were ejected from home areas at the Liverpool match.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation, continue to speak with the Club and we’ll update our members again with any further developments in due course.
17 January 2020.