Date:Tuesday June 9 2009
Clarets fans who had travelled down to deepest Hampshire for the crucial match against Southampton at St Marys back in April were literally gobsmacked after the final whistle.
They were confronted by an unruly mob of so-called Saints fans rushing towards the away end chucking all manner of stuff before the Police stepped in after most of the damage was done. Yours truly saw coins flying through the air, witnessed a young girl bleeding from the forehead and saw my mate hit on the shoulder by some sort of smouldering flare.
Flares were being chucked into and out of the away end with Clarets fans incensed about the lack of control by the stewards and police.
Coughing and spluttering from the smoke of a flare, I thought it was about time I closed by open gobsmacked mouth in case I swallowed a pound coin!
On a lighter note if that's possible one wag said it was the first time he had come off a game in profit citing a 50p piece and a bag of oranges he had manage to salvage from the chucked missiles!
In the last Saints home game of the season, our 2-2 draw that day was of course enough to keep our play-off hopes alive but also condemn Southampton to a life in League 1 and not only that but our point also ensured that the Saints would face 2009/10 with a 10 point deduction following the parent company, Southampton Leisure Holdings going into administration. Yes, so Saints fans would be devastated but nobody can condone the actions of the moronic few who dare don the red & white stripes of a proud, famous club and call themselves fans whilst chucking dangerous stuff at the away fans!
What can you do? Well my mate (he posts on here and might reveal himself) holding a still smouldering, spent flare gave the offending object to the police after exiting the stadium and made an official complaint. He had another go at the police at the Railway Station who seemed oblivious to the fact that something had kicked off a mile or so down the road at St Marys.
We all left that day thinking nowt would happen and it would all be labelled as a footy thing with the police looking to catch some proper criminals like speeding motorists!
However the good news today is that Hampshire Police are looking for 11 Southampton fans in relation to the crowd trouble. The supporters (is that what you call them?) in question allegedly hurled objects and abuse at Burnley fans and were among the 1,500 people who invaded the pitch.
Match Commander Chief Supt Matthew Greening said:
'We are committed to identifying and bringing to justice those people who were responsible for violence and disorder. Our enquiry is aimed at sending a strong message to Southampton fans that we will not tolerate violence or threatening behaviour of any kind at football matches and we will act if supporters break the law. I understand it was a tough session for Saints supporters but the behaviour of a few 'so-called' fans immediately after the Burnley match was totally unacceptable and there is no place for it at St Mary's or any venue in the city.'
Brendan McGlinchey who is the Head of Operations at St Marys is quoted as saying:
'Southampton FC views these incidents very seriously and fully supports the police in this initiative. The club expects to issue a number of banning orders to those identified by the police during the course of their investigations.'
Well those are fine words indeed and if the action leads to convictions then we can all be happy. I do have to say though was there really only 11 in a crowd invasion of 1500, who have been earmarked for potential prosecution? I bet if 1500 broke the speed limit they would all be caught and fined!
Yes, I am angry!
Date:Tuesday June 9 2009
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