We left Liverpool in high spirits just after 7:30 for our flight to Bologna and transfer to Florence. The flight went ok and we landed in Bologna at just after 11am (Italian time). We then got a police escort all the way from the airport to Florence; this was just the start of being treated shabbily.
As we got near Florence, the Florence police told us that we had to be back at our coaches by 5pm later that afternoon, it was just after 1 now and we were still on the coach. This did not go down well with the coachloads of Evertonians; our original iternary said that we had till 7 in Florence city centre. Why were we going to be taken to the ground so early when the game did not kick off till 8:45pm in Florence? The police obviously wanted us out of the city centre as early as possible, why I?ll never know as Evertonians have no history of causing trouble in Europe.
Our Italian tour guide pleaded with the police to let us only board the coaches at 7; eventually they relented so well done to our tour guide! When we got to the city centre, we found out that there was an alcohol ban in all bars until 6pm. Why was this ridiculous decision made? We walked round for ages and eventually found a small restaurant which was selling beer. An hour later, this was full of Evertonians singing songs and enjoying the afternoon. Note to the police, there was absolutely no trouble at all!
After a joyous afternoon of singing Everton songs, we then made our way to the coaches for the short drive to the ground were worse treatment was to follow! We got off the coaches just after 8pm, only 45 minutes before kick off. As we got off the coach, we all made our way to the entrance to the ground. What I seen then was just unbelievable and how there were no Evertonians killed is a miracle! There were about 2,500 Evertonians trying to be herded one-by-one through a small gate in the fence with the police just looking on at the other side of the fence. Why were there no stewards outside, directing people into the ground in a more orderly manner? Another sign of us being treated like animals!
As kick-off was fast approaching, there were people pushing trying to get into the ground, so people near the front were getting crushed against the fence. I managed to get in just for kick-off, but people were still outside up to 25 minutes into the 1st half with the gates being closed and the riot police coming out to push the Evertonians back. Why was this, we were only trying to get into the ground to watch Everton play football?
When we got into the ground, the view from the away end was shambolic! We were held in a cage (again like animals) and it was very hard to see either end of the pitch. Would we treat away fans like this? Maybe we should build a cage for next Wednesday and see how Fiorentina like it!!
The game itself was disappointing; to lose 2-0 and not really trouble their goalkeeper. It is not very often this season that so many of our players have off nights. However, there is still a 2nd leg, it is only half-time and a capacity crowd at Goodison all roaring the Blues on can intimidate the Italians and keep our European tour alive. Never stop believing boys, it isn?t over yet!
Let?s knock the Italians out to make up for the way they treated us Evertonians, it certainly wasn?t a very good experience for me!
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1 Posted 08/03/2008 at 19:51:21
Also, I wasn?t too happy with the hoardes of armed police that ?welcomed? me at Florence train station, took my passport from me and made me explain why I was in the city without a ticket for the match. "where your ticket?" "why you here?" Again - disgusting. Will we have the armed response unit at Lime Street on Wednesday quizzing any Itialian getting off a train? - of course not.
The worse thing of all though was that even the previously friendly locals seemed to change after the game. I was lost in the city centre at about 12 that night trying to find my hotel. I had my key card with the hotel address on it and asked the police to help me. They simply walked away. I also asked a doorman on a nightclub if he could help - no. I did manage to find a kind bloke ater about 20 mins who walked me all the way back to my hotel. Thanks Salvatore!!
2 Posted 08/03/2008 at 20:44:19
My point that I really wanted to make was about the scheduled itinery you seemed adamant to adhere to. The company running the trip obviously knew that entrance to the ground would take a while which is why they wanted you at the ground in plenty of time. Yes Italian authorities are unproffesional and incompetent but your tour company was showing inititive to try and reduce the problems of crushing, and rushing to the ground. Had the tour company stuck to the 5pm rule then this would have been avoided as the need for rushing would have been avoided.
This is not to say the tour companies were at fault, they tried to find a soloution around incompetent stewarding and policing to benefit us fans and you ignored it causing rushing, crushing and fans waiting 25 minutes to enter the ground after kick off.
3 Posted 08/03/2008 at 21:20:32
4 Posted 08/03/2008 at 21:51:58
5 Posted 08/03/2008 at 22:11:28
Me and about a couple of hundred other Evertonians were completely misdirected and after surmounting at least 5 security checks missed KO by 15 minutes. It was fortunate that nothing kicked off with their attitude - fortunately the good name of Everton was upheld.
6 Posted 09/03/2008 at 11:29:39
7 Posted 09/03/2008 at 11:28:18
8 Posted 09/03/2008 at 12:20:10
9 Posted 09/03/2008 at 12:19:31
So maybe if you had gotten there earlier it would have been ok?
I was there at the start of the crush and do you know why it started? Because dozens of our mutant fans tried to storm in without tickets. So the police and stewards rightly closed the gate and then opened it slightly so only one or two could get in a time. Correct move. Remember Athens? REMEMBER HILLSBOROUGH? Jesus wept.
As the for the away end, what more did you expect? Did you even have a look at the stadium before you went? I was on the back row of OS2 and the view wasn?t that bad to be honest. Sure it could have been better.
And I drank pretty much all afternoon in Florence with no problems at all. At about 7.45 we were chatting to a load of Viola fans outside the ground and they were sound people. And then same again after the match.
We have some degenerate fans who go there for trouble and the sooner they get arrested and banned, the better.
I think Lee, you really need to reassess your expectations in future.
10 Posted 09/03/2008 at 13:08:26
11 Posted 09/03/2008 at 13:27:12
In view of the trouble that Italy has had with their own football fans I could perfectly understand the action that the Italians took to try to avoid any trouble between the two sets of fans.
Alot of unrest came from Evertonians who found it impossible to obtain a ticket for the match. The only time I saw the police getting a bit heavy handed was in response to yobbish Everton fans trying to rush a gate because they didn’t have the patience to wait their turn and even then the police were very reasonable in the way they treated the fans.
Unfortunately the biggest gripe I have (apart from the match itself) is about some Evertonians (not all but enough to ruin our reputation). In my hotel Everton fans on an official Everton trip were thieving from the bar when the barman was not looking. I wonder why we get all the abuse about being scallies from opposing football fans?
I hope that you thieving bastards get your hands chopped off.
Then there was the drunken Everton fan trying to gather a bit of support to go and fight with the Italians because he believed that some Everton fans had been stabbed the night before, it didn’t seem to matter whether it was true or not.
Then of course there is Everton Football Club itself for failing to secure more tickets for Everton fans (and I don’t recall any warinings not to travel for this match if you didn’t have a ticket). Inside the ground there were thousands of empty seats, even in the Everton enclosure (why was this?). I am sure that the ticketing arrangements could have been better handled, with more tickets made available and the location of the fans in the ground changed to one end of the stadium with a big gap either side for security, after all the Fiorentina fans didn’t appear to want to go to the game did they?
Overall I enjoyed the trip and the behaviour of the majority of Everton fans is to be applauded (but not you thieving unwashed scally bastards who can rot in hell as far as I am concerned).
12 Posted 07/03/2008 at 22:57:46
After having watched the game, we then were filtered back through a bottleneck and ferried into the nearby waiting buses (the best idea they had). It got me thinking that:
1. I am sick and tired of ALL English supporters being treated the same, this is simply RACISM.
2. That for all the abuse the English police recieve, they manage the situation in the English game far better than any of our European counterparts. (Can you imagine the Italians being told there is no Skol available next week???)
13 Posted 09/03/2008 at 20:55:20
14 Posted 09/03/2008 at 21:08:35
15 Posted 09/03/2008 at 23:05:37
Question - what has the Gerrard songs got to do with supporting Everton. Answer - fuck all mate.
Question - what has some pisshead emptying his bladder on a shop window in broad daylight got to do with supporting everton?
Do you get my drift?
If thinking the above does no credit to everton or scousers then as you said then that makes me a self righteous prick. Guilty as charged. I just happen to think I am a reasonable bloke and a good proud blue.
Another question for you - if you think all of the above is ok then what does that make you ????
16 Posted 09/03/2008 at 23:59:12
Fans like that give us a bad name and make it doubaly hard the next time we have to go there. If Mic Mack and his ilk want to embarris us wityh their behavour why dont they just buy 24 cans of ACE and embarras themselves at home.
17 Posted 10/03/2008 at 00:48:46
Despite the actions of a few of our nutty fans, we can’t hold ourselves responsible for the actions of the Italians towards Evertonians. Its just not a nice place to go, even if places like Florence are beautiful. Other English teams don’t really take any fans over there to be honest - they know the score, its just our innocent naivety and willingness to travel for our beloved club that this has happened. Lets just hope we don’t draw the Italians again for all our sakes.
18 Posted 10/03/2008 at 01:57:26
19 Posted 10/03/2008 at 10:28:52
Everton supporters (true ones) dont need to sing songs like this and what relevance is it even if it was ok to sing it to a game in Italy.
If you want a new song then make one up sure by the sound of it you can come up with one equally as bad.
Its the type of song that unfortunately Gerard loves to slam down our throats every time we play them.
Focus on Everton not someone else.
20 Posted 10/03/2008 at 11:23:50
21 Posted 10/03/2008 at 11:45:04
Yet when some of the plums who follow us show their true colours (in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, natch) we’re supposed to turn a blind eye to it or simply pass it off as just the lads having a few ales at the match?
22 Posted 10/03/2008 at 13:02:54
I would rather go the match with me mam than a fucking idiot like you.
Stay at home next time, so we won’t have to apologise for clowns like you and their behaviour.
Grow up mate and act your age not your shoe size.
23 Posted 10/03/2008 at 13:34:43
So I?m reading these stories and thinking, this is how football is policed as standard in Italy, but you don?t hear them moaning about it. FWIW Italian football support is 20 years behind us, hooliganism is rife. But listening to some bleeding hearts on here, you?d think we?d been transported back to the 1850s. If any of you had done your research you?d have known what to expect. Florence is a beautiful city - don?t let the actions of some mindless Italians cloud your judgement otherwise.
And also, shame on the braindead idiots who tried to storm the gates. Have we not learnt from the misfortunes of our neighbours? I trust we can behave ourselves on our own patch, and that Merseyside police can show the Italians that we are above such animalistic behaviour.
24 Posted 10/03/2008 at 13:48:30
The reason for all of the above was simple - there was a football match going on. But why should that change matters at all? Simply because there was a match does not mean we should accept being pre-supposed as all hooligans. If I was going to a theatre or a concert in Florence, would the same happen? Of course not.
However, if you disagree and think we should be treated like shite, then that’s your prerogative. Personally, I think you’re soft.
25 Posted 10/03/2008 at 16:37:01
I was dissapointed to bump into a fan giving people stick about not having a ticket and bigging himdelf up for not misiing a game for 4 years! If 4 years is how long he has been supporting Everton then he needs to wind his neck in a bit and some people have other commitments. Don?t get me wrong if all 2340 tickets had gone to us all travelling to all games there could be no argument but that wasn?t the case. I met people in fiorentina who had never been to a European away game!? I would also like to question the club wht 1stfortickets.com where selling tickets in the everton end for £260! Some of the lads we were with had dubai driving licences but were scousers and got in. The police were question on the day about extra ticket allocation and a club rep even came out to the lads and said Everto were offered 9000 tickets but would not supply there own police and stewarding how true this is i don?t know.
At the end of the day lads the trouble in Italy was minimal, the police were brutal but they are 20 years behind us. At the derby the gerrard song was being sang for over 60 mins of the game, they were calling Joeleon Lescott the elephant man, we sing 39 italains can?t be wrong, they bring tesco bags to the game and call us KFC. Its football it happens, is handing Nick Barmbys address out at pre season games fair? Were all guilty of one thing we love Everton, if you don?t agree with songs like i don?t its simple... don?t sing them.
26 Posted 10/03/2008 at 17:10:24
Both of those towns seemed to embrace the games and their attitude and organization, seemed to have a really calming effect on the travelling Blues.
It is sadly true however that we have an element ’supporting’ us who can only be described as emotionally retarded.
While waiting to leave the stadium after the game, these narked, pissed-up bell-ends started pushing (even though we’d been told we were being held back!).
Then as they started to let us go, a group at a time, I could hear the black stewards getting loads from a few brain-dead, racist, fuck-wits.
You know what boys - when you’re screaming your racist bile, 99% those around you are NOT thinking "Yeah, you tell em lad’"
In fact if they’re anything like me, they’re thinking "I hope you die of something staggeringly painful, really, REALLY soon!"
The Italian police might dress and strut like cartoon fascists, but we’ve (still!) got plenty of the REAL McCoy ourselves.
27 Posted 10/03/2008 at 18:29:04
Whilst we saw that 90% of Blues were great ambassadors for the club, judged against the benchmark of Nurnberg there were more knobheads on display than usual.
On our flight out from Manchester to Frankfurt there were the Wallasey divs theiving from a FREE bar on the plane! They continued their retard behaviour in the airport irritating several people in the restaurant.
On the flight from Frankfurt they continued to rob the FREE bar !!!! DOH! and went along the plane boasting about it, eventually to the amusement of the rest of us they were arrested on landing. We hoped we’d seen the last of them. The only divs I’ve ever known get nicked for stealing something that was free!
MY experience was that the Police were intimidating but fair considering the behaviour of a small minority.
Unfortunately just as we were waiting for the bus at the station to take us to the match some lad decided to urinate all over a bench that people were queuing up to sit down on. Why is it that some lads get away from the Mrs for a few days and just start to behave like animals. Do that in town on a Saturday night and you’ll get slapped.
To the 3 lads at Frankfurt Airport who were not in control of their bodily functions, you were a disgrace.
On the way home the Wallasey divs turned up again and seemed quite proud that they had let a fire extinguisher off in their hotel, you may not have noticed but the other 30 lads on the bus were so embarrassed by you we were all looking at you wondering who would slap you first. Stick to school trips you pricks!
Hopefully if we beat Fiorentina you sad dickheads won’t be on the next trip, you are not welcome by the 90% who know how to behave.
28 Posted 10/03/2008 at 19:59:09
Italian people are not all arrogant pricks in the same way that not all English people are drunken idiots who pee where they stand.
Wherever I went in Florence last week, the bars and restaurants were serving drinks.
Pubs as such, don?t really exist so a lot of the singing and shouting was being done in restaurants where families were out having a meal. The singing and shouting was fine for a pub but surely not for a restaurant? They wouldnt do it in the UK so why do it in Italy?
The policing was very OTT by our standards but normal for Italian games.
Most stadia in Italy have limited cover and the away fans are segregated into cages partly for their own protection.
Only Ultras usually travel to away games and rarely would women and children travel away (wonder why?)
English fans still have an unwelcome reputation for being ?hooligans?.
As someone who has family in Italy and speaks Italian I was ear wiggin? a lot of what was being said by the locals in the street and in the restaurant as well as talking to stewards in the ground. The views I heard were,
?where on earth do they put all that beer??
What does ?who the fucking hell are you? mean?
Why do all English men shave their heads?
I could go on....but the general view was that locals were more bemused by the behaviour of most of us but a bit annoyed at the yobbish behaviour of others.
To the prize idiot who drank a bottle of wine, more or less in one go, in the restaurant I was in and then emptied it by chucking up all over the floor together with the pizza etc. Thanks mate, that was a class act. My abiding memory of that meal was the smell of sick and the look on the face of a young kid sitting there trying to eat a meal. Thankfully, people like him are in a minority, at least I hope they are.
29 Posted 10/03/2008 at 21:12:26
I only witnessed evertonians drinking quietly in bars and restaurants, behaving normally on the streets, giving all the street vendors around the duomo a huge pay day purchasing their tat and finally..... Evertonians being incrediby restrained under intense provocation outside the ground by the Italian police force.
I was there for 2 and a half days and was obviously not looking hard enough for this scum element that were bringing our club into disrepute.
I was proud of our support over there and honestly believe that if it had been the vast majority of any other clubs in the country we would have seen the all too familiar scenes of Southern European police leathering all and sundry.
30 Posted 10/03/2008 at 23:27:16
We were tested to the max over there, from the minute we landed till the minute we left, and I didn't see anyone lose their rag. Sure there were a few moans and groans, but I certainly didn't witness anyone ?Bring shame upon our club? as is being portrayed here!
OK maybe there were things I didn't see, fair play, but I've been to 3 European away trips this season and haven't seen a spot of bother at any of them!
Up The Toffees!
31 Posted 11/03/2008 at 03:10:39
We do have a minority of morons who follow EFC
We do have the vast majority of well behaved supporters who folow EFC
We are no better and no worse than any British team's supporters abroad..
So all you self righteous pieous bstards, get of your high horses..
There was a small amount of bad behaviour, but none of the hooligan behaviour of fighting/running amok etc..
Remember, there was over 3000 mainly blokes away for a match with no trouble reported in the English press.
The Italian press were calling us hooligans for 3 days before the match.. the only article we saw after the game was the piece about trashing a hotel room...
Well fuck me... that must make us all hooligans then!!
Oh yeah...and to the pissheads / robbers, who read this, next time you go away, watch your backs, coz me and me mates will be right on ya, twatting ya if we have to and handing you over to the bizzies too!!
Because we ain?t gonna suffer for you or protect you!!
32 Posted 11/03/2008 at 10:41:29
A few italian photographers coming into the bar that we were in on the afternoon of the game, taking photos of litter in the gutter 20 yards away that had been there for fuck knows how long, and then trying to get all the evertonians to shout aggressively at the camera whilst clenching fists.
Luckily, everyone knew what they were doing and told them to do one, but again, if people would have bit, whatever paper these vermin worked for would have had pictures of blues looking like deranged lunatics all over them the following day.
33 Posted 11/03/2008 at 12:32:10
I personally think we have very respectful and intelligenst fans for not taking the bait like United fans did in Rome. I’m now left with a dilema, do we treat them like scum if that many turn up by sticking up fences by them and opening the away gate 45 mins before kick off while they enter 1 by 1.
Or do we show them that not all sides in this country are too quick to cause a riot, and treat them with respect and show them that we are not an "English" team, that we are different with friendly fans and helpful police and stewards (in comparison anyway)
34 Posted 11/03/2008 at 23:51:27
This is a thread about the Fiorentina trip last week........
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