Everton and Hadjuk Split charged over crowd trouble

Friday 18 August 2017  82 Comments  [Jump to last]
Both Everton and Hajduk Split are to be charged by Uefa in connection with the disturbances at Goodison Park during their Europa League playoff game last night.

Play had to be held up for five minutes as police and stewards moved in to stop visiting fans from trying to gain access to the Park End stand while seats and other projectiles were thrown onto the pitch and towards the home end.

European football's governing body says they will censure the Croatian club Hajduk for "throwing of objects", "crowd disturbances", "field invasions by supporters" and "acts of damages" while Everton will be charged with the "throwing of objects".

A Hajduk fan site says that the actions of the travelling Croatians were in response to coins being thrown at them, however an account from an Evertonian close to the incident claims that the coin-throwing started from the away section.

Additionally, Blues supporters in the Paddock next to the away section have remarked on how many opposition "fans" had come dressed in hooded sweaters, sunglasses and scarves over their faces, the common attire of "ultras" who are often blamed for inciting crowd disturbances at games on the Continent.

The date of the hearing has not been set but the incident will heighten the need for security during the second leg next Thursday when an unknown number of Evertonians will travel to Split to support their team.  

Reader Comments (82)

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Steve Hogan
1 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:11:19

Having witnessed first hand the ugly scenes at Goodison last night, I wonder what sanctions UEFA will take against Split and it's hooligan elements.

My guess, it will be a pathetic 'small' fine and a warning. In reality, we could easily have had a fatality last night. Hurling a wooden seat at anyone risks serious injury and possibly death.

The young kid acting as ballboy along that touchline, certainly had a narrow escape, and could have been seriously hurt.

What is it with (mostly) east european fans when they travel away, we seem to go back to the dark old days of organised violence.

I remember in Turkey, when a Leeds United fan was stabbed to death, some years ago.

Are there still remnants of the hatred being displayed towards anyone who is deemed 'western' in culture, or is it something more basic than that?

It certainly won't be a pleasant prospect for any Evertonians travelling to Split, which by any accounts, is a really nice city.

Thoughts anyone?

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:13:08
These thugs didn't come to watch a football match, they came looking for a fight. What were the Everton fans supposed to do? Stand like statues? Dodge the objects thrown? Typical pathetic UEFA response. They couldn't even hire a proper referee for the game.
Kevin Turner
3 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:37:09
The eastern European neo-nazi thugs love a rumble and will spend hard earned cash travelling to find it. Anyone with tickets for the 2nd leg must be advised not to go. It's just asking for trouble.

Uefa's response is typically pathetic. If there was any justice, Hajduk would be banned for a couple of seasons at least.

Stan Schofield
4 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:38:06
It was reminiscent of the Euros last year, where there was trouble from Eastern Europeans, Russians I seem to recall. On that occasion they weren't youths either, they looked like paramilitary hard cases. Very odd.
Dermot Byrne
5 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:42:55
Colin Fully understand. But missiles were thrown each way. Nutters in our lot as in nutters everywhere. We can go down into who started it and in the end who cares. A few nutters somewhere and wherever they are from, I hope they get the fucking book thrown at them.
David Bryant
6 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:44:05
If both sets of fans are proven to be at fault, it's only right that both clubs are penalised in some way. That said, from the footage I've seen, the Split fans were all having a pop at the Park End - odd given the alleged coin throwing was from The Paddock?! I'm sure UEFA will come to the right conclusions - they've always done right by us in the past... (*sarcasm font: On*)
Steve Guy
7 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:49:49
Colin #2. In answer to your question .yes that's exactly what the Everton fans should have done. What the heck has the standard of refereeing got to do with it ?
Paul A Smith
8 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:55:21
Hopefully this results in just a not too big fine. It's going to be ridiculously hard for Uefa to work out who started it.< From what I saw, in our favour, I will say they reacted like babies to taunts after Keane's goal and wanted confrontation.

In their favour, the first missile I saw thrown was from the Park End into their end. Though it was impossible for me to see a coin thrown from their end into the Park End first, that may well have happened.

I can say for sure, we walked down Bullens Road before the game and just by looking at how their fans stood in packs, moved like they owned the place, and looked like very confident people, you could tell in a heartbeat the slightest incident would lead to them going all chest out.

I hope every single travelling blue going over there is very vigilant. Guarantee there will be at least a small group of their plastic gangsters organising another chest episode. Be safe blues and hopefully enjoy your trip.

Paul Jones
9 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:01:14
A minority of the Croations were pretty feral. It's tempting to tar them all with the same brush but I looked across at them when they were trying to burst into the park end and the vast majority never left their places.

Yes - they had more knobheads per capita than we did, but one or two tits in the park end were throwing objects (I saw something fall into the area where these non-participating fans were sitting) - and some of our 'big men' were merely standing up throwing insults from the relative safety of their seats - so our club's name is tarnished thanks to our own.

Brian Williams
10 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:06:25
I wasn't surprised in the slightest that it kicked off. I'd posted yesterday about their supporters in town and it was glaringly obvious what they were like.

They came looking for trouble and if you look up their recent history they've got lots of form. With them, it's not about footballing rivalry, it's about nationalism and tribalism.

Mike Keating
12 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:13:48
I don't expect Uefa to demonstrate anything other than incompetence – many of us still recall the injustice of a European ban following a cup final we were not even involved in and yet we now find ourselves sharing the blame for what can only be described as 'synchronised thuggery' by a travelling gang of Croatian Ultras.

The whole thing was orchestrated by a couple of band leaders who spent the entire game conducting the performance with their backs to the pitch. If any blame lies with the security at the ground it is with the police and stewards for allowing these clowns to run the show unmolested. The club have already been fined and forced to play behind closed doors this year for violent conduct of the Torcida (Brazilian name for 'fans' which they adopted). Sorry for the genuine fans but I think a ban from European competition is called for.

Rob Halligan
13 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:23:38
Mike, I see where you've coming from regarding the band leaders. However, while they were stood on whatever they were stood on, conducting their merry group of morons, then they were not really doing any harm.

Had the police or the stewards moved in and told them to pack it in, then I imagine it would have kicked off even more.

Victor Johnson
14 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:44:54
Colin #2 – you are quite right about the general predisposition of the Central/Eastern European Ultra. In footballing terms, they are living in the dark ages. They lay claim to the soul of the clubs for vague historical and political reasons – it's never about the football.

It's completely absurd because all they are doing is holding a knife to the throat of their 'beloved' club. I've been living in Warsaw for 20 years and, in the few times I've been to watch Legia Warsaw play, the majority of fans are totally uninterested in the actual game. It's all about creating a theatre and atmosphere of intimidation (admittedly quite impressive as a spectacle).

Alas, nothing significant has changed to address hooliganism in Polish football and I guess the dynamics are similar in Croatia. With English football, certain events did converge to force those at the top to confront the scourge once and for all. And look where we are now!

Change from the top in Central and Eastern Europe is not an option for the foreseeable future – neither the government, the footballing authorities, the police nor the clubs themselves have the spine to 'confront' the problem. Why, given the amount of money that is at stake, is this still the case? The answer lies somewhere between the political contamination of football across the region and weak leadership.

By way of illustration, the current government in Poland actively encourages the type of violent behaviour that we witnessed yesterday, and shamelessly courts the Ultras in order to further its political aims. Politics, nationalism and racism are the raison d'être of the average fan in this part of the world, sadly.

John Raftery
15 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:45:10
When this kicked off last night, I had a feeling it might rebound on our club. Unless UEFA can clearly attribute blame to one club the likelihood is they will blame both. So we will receive a fine and a warning. If any numpties in that corner of the Park End did throw anything at the Croatians the club hopefully will have captured it on camera and be able to impose lifetime bans.

It could be a lively trip to Split.

Rick Pattinson
16 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:49:06
Shite that this still goes on in football really. Men acting like kids over a game shame they don't take into consideration the actual kids in the ground and how scary it would be to them or how dangerous situations can get.
Mike Keating
17 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:52:27
You might be right Rob. Perhaps this is normally how they enjoy themselves at the match (by not watching the game and putting on a sideshow) and to deny them that pleasure would have been taken as an insult. So, it's important to know if these 'performances' usually go off without incident or if they are a well rehearsed prelude to violence.

I'm afraid I don't have the answer but my feeling from the start (shared by those who saw them in town and outside the ground) was that they had not come to support the team but to start a fight and it may well have been sparked by a signal from those conducting things from the front - certainly it looked to me, from the Park End, as if the violence was not spontaneous.

The Everton fans who responded in kind should be ridiculed (1) - for bringing the club intro disrepute;
and (2) - for being such pathetic shots (most of the missiles seemed to bounce off our own stewards).

Kristian Boyce
18 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:53:47
Aberdeen just got a small fine today for their game out in Cyprus a couple of weeks back. It was the Cypriots who kicked off and caused the trouble, but the Scots received a 9K fine for not bring their own security.

I'm thinking we'll get something in that region, and Split around 30K. Easy money going into UEFA's coffers. Unless the Croatians have previous issues, I can't see anything more serious than that.

Mike Doyle
19 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:56:19
As I mentioned on another thread, it's a shame they don't make policemen like "Blackbeard" (from the early 70s). He'd have gone straight in and sorted them out (without back up).

On a related point, how good is the CCTV at Goodison. A couple of seasons back at Stamford Bridge I watched stewards close in on a bloke who had been spotted smoking. He tried to deny in, but the CCTV operator checked it out and gave him a final warning. Do we have anything like that?

David McKee
21 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:18:23
I was sat in the Family Enclosure near the Park End with my son and two grandsons. Next to me sat a couple, as the Hajduk fans tried to get into the Park End.

She was visibly shaken; I told her not to worry – the police and stewards would stop it. But she said "I knew I shouldn't have come, I'll never come to another game."

I know it wasn't too bad and I've seen a lot worse, but it's still shame on all involved.

Ian Glassey
22 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:25:21
My son and 2 grandchildren were 2 rows up to the right of the goal in the Park End,his after we scored the first goal a steward who I know came to tell me my grandson was upset and wanted to see me. When I got to them my grandson was crying his eyes out,I had to take him home while my son stayed with my grandaughter. He is 7 yes old and lives and breathes football and of course the Blues, as we walked out he said to me " I don't want to come again grandad " . I must say the stewards were great with him and he will be back..
Tony Hill
23 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:31:30
The Split fans were loud and obnoxious in a fairly militarised way but it was all pretty pathetic in the end and died down completely in the second half. Let's not get too pious and pompous about it all.
John Smith
24 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:50:16
I read an article that Everton might play the Split game in their empty stadium. I assumed that means both sets of fans cannot attend.
Benny Snow
25 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:57:56
Strongly recommend zero fans travel to the second leg. It will be a blood bath!!!
Ian Burns
26 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:59:14
Steve 7 - I feel the need to defend Colin's post 2.

His reference the referee was more to do with the pathetic of response from UEFA in putting up equal blame at this point in time to both clubs (be it right or otherwise). He felt their response was equal to their appointment of the referee, which I felt was fair comment.

It now seems that TWers who witnessed the thugs at close hand are saying both sides were to blame and I am sure UEFA will eventually see EFC fans as the lesser evil. I for one couldn't see that from watching on YouTube (I live abroad). It still remains the referee was of poor standard.

Lee Mandaracas
27 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:39:42
We had two children moved from the area of their attacks to the row in front of us because they were apparently being targeted by the away fans! I was precisely in the middle of the goal net around ten rows back and can confirm the coin and bottle throwing began from the Split fans when Mirallas approached to take the first corner. There was a water bottle thrown at him he had to remove from the corner of the pitch and then coins.

Once they were 1-0 down it started to kick off from their fans after what I thought was good humour before that. They were then throwing objects and rushing the crowd towards the Park End. I saw three or four plastic Coke/Dr Pepper-type bottles thrown from us to them and immediately thought "You few knob heads haven't just done that. The entire home crowd have. Well done!" When will a handful of pricks learn we are all affected by action, even reaction.

Before the match even kicked off my father had to report one of them to the local police. We were in the shop car park getting my 8-year-old daughter's shirt printed when they all came through with their escort. I felt intimidated by some of them and that doesn't happen easily.

One walked up to the fence facing us in the car park, pulled out his cock and proceeded to piss into the bushes and car park. My Dad got the attention of the police officer two paces to the bloke's left and reported it to only get the following reply: "I know, they've been doing it all the way up here." Why the Hell have you done nothing then fella?!!!

What would happen if we were pulling stuff like that right next to the police on the return leg? We all know the answer. Our police are impotent.

George Cumiskey
28 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:48:57
Tony@ 23 I wonder if the steward who got a smack in the gob by one of their supporters feels pious and pompous ?.
Gordon Crawford
29 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:51:00
It wouldn't surprise me if they played next match behind closed doors. It's hard not to retaliate when someone is attacking you. That's what it looked like to me last night.
Tony Hill
30 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:04:46
Goerge (28), there were dickheads among them, I have no doubt, but I have seen far worse many times and so have most adults who have been to football matches for any length of time.

We shouldn't wet our pants or demand summary executions; these days, every minor upset seems to require herd lamentation and the drawing of disproportionate conclusions.

Lee Mandaracas
31 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:06:49
I have to say that I interpreted the band leaders/conductors differently to you Mike (12). In fact, when it was at its worst I clearly saw the one in the blue jacket and beige trousers come back to his pedestal and signal a calming sign before going back to conducting them in their singing.

Perhaps I am naive but I thought their uniformity was refreshing and entertaining. It didn't cross my mind it could have been orchestrated in any negative fashion.

Paul Hewitt
32 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:14:54
Uefa are gutless. I would ban Split from Europe for 2 years. But they will probably get a small fine.
Mike Keating
33 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:23:34
It's all a matter of interpretation Lee as we don't witness that kind of thing very often and may distrust actions we don't understand which is why I said we would need to put it context.

In the past we have had away fans putting on a show (Bronby and Athens spring to mind) which were pure fun/taking the piss but I felt there was a menace about last night which was deliberately intimidating.

I hope there is no carry over to the second leg and that our fans get there and back without incident - in which case I will happily accept that I'm a pious and pompous prick who overreacted to a bit of harmless posing.

Tony Hill
34 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:29:06
Mike, I was the first to say that it was like a Nuremberg rally last night but if we throw up our hands and get agitated about it then do we not give these oafs the very reaction they seek?
Eddie Dunn
35 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:48:04
Well folks, the Split fans may well have been prats, and the Euro authorities will usually apportion blame in a scattergun way.

However, we should get this little kerfuffle into perspective. I can remember Man Utd having the whole of the old Park end in the late seventies, breaking the windows in the bogs (Georgian wire reinforced) at half time and hurling it into the Enclosure!

A mate of mine had a nice piece hit his knee as he sat on a crash bar, ruining his brand new Brutus Gold jeans, just a few inches from my bonce.

Victor Johnson
36 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:57:57
Are you sure they were Brutus and not Flemings, Eddie?
Ernie Baywood
37 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:01:43
The 'band leader' is pretty common outside of England. Even in Australia you get a 'capo' leading the core support due to European influences.

I wouldn't assign much blame to that side of things.

Brian Williams
38 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:02:13
Lee (#31).

Sorry mate but you ARE naive in your thinking on this one. We're referring to well organized paramilitary violent thugs. The singing was organized, the kicking off was organized as were the signals to cease and replace the flags.

Once the flags went back up, I knew it was over and it wasn't by chance, it was organized. If you had any knowledge of how these fanatics work and what they're about, you wouldn't find them refreshing and entertaining, well you shouldn't anyway.

Eddie Dunn
39 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:02:18
Mike Doyle #19- "Blackbeard! " I remember him- he gave me a proper clip round the earhole for messing around with my mate in the Park End, when we beat Chelsea 6-0 and Latchford got his 30 goals.
Alan Bodell
40 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:04:50
Last foreign support taking the piss here was Feyenoord, after fighting in a few local pubs we heard they had wrecked the plane when it it had landed, that night I was at the players entrance to see their coach arrive and gave Koeman the joking 'thunbs down' sign and he just shrugged, never thought he would be doing what he is for us.

I love Mo Besic but with the nationalism over there I hope he stays home, too many retards in them there parts.

Andy Meighan
41 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:19:41
What is it with these east Europeans and their "Oh I've had such a hard life and I need to take it out on someone who's got so much more than me"? Sad twats, Get over yourselves. We're in the same boat.
Jimmy Salt
42 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:31:09
Anto Byrne
43 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:36:22
The club will be looking at the CCTV and hopefully identify those morons who are supposed to be Evertonians. It used to happen in the 70s especially at Leeds and of all places Nottingham.

My worst experience was at Old Trafford when Bob Latchford scored 2. It happened at Goodison as well ,the club getting fined and having to do something about it.

I just hope the away support have security at Split.

Phil Bellis
44 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:41:13
I'm with Colin... To travel all that way ffs and many of them had no apparent interest in the football. he security in Concert Square yesterday pm was like a Liverpool v Man Utd match

They told me they'd had had the visiting militia there Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon and warned me there'd be a kickoff.

Brian Porter
45 Posted 19/08/2017 at 01:25:25
Some friends of mine from darkest Yorkshire just spent three days visiting the city and reported to me that they came across a small group of what looked like paramilitary Croatian thugs during the day yesterday. They were loud and aggressive in their manner and my friend Brian (a lot of us about), says he knew they were only here to cause trouble and fully expected trouble at the match once they got together with the rest of their countrymen.

His daughter was the victim of loud and obvious sexual references made in her direction even though they were talking in their own language. He couldn't really understand why, if it was so obvious to him that trouble was in the offing, nothing was done to prevent these sickos from entering the ground.

He made the point that UEFA should ban the wearing of paramilitary style clothing or uniforms to matches, which would make it easier to identify trouble makers who currently stay hidden behind a veil of anonymity by being dressed the same as the rest of their compatriots. A simple but easy fix to a widespread European problem. Ditch the paramilitary look or be refused entry to any football ground in Europe.

David Israel
46 Posted 19/08/2017 at 01:32:09
Eddie #35, Oh yes, we all remember that lot, and the Leeds and Chelsea 'entertainers', to name but a few. Gone, but far from forgotten!

Alan #40, my thoughts exactly, regarding Mo. The former Yugoslavia is a cauldron, and I agree he should be left behind.

My brother-in-law is currently in Zagreb, and was thinking of going to the game, next week, but he's giving it a pass now, and I don't blame him.

Phil Jeffries
47 Posted 19/08/2017 at 02:00:27
Unfortunately, Everton were always going to cop something for this. As the host club, we will more than likely be charged with failing to control spectators as well as 'object throwing'. Our previous is nothing compared to that lot, so you'd expect a fine.

As for Split, it is a test of the authorities' desire to make an example. If they have already had to play behind closed doors as a punishment, common sense would dictate at least the same outcome for this game coming up.

I personally hope it's a ban so we go straight through. But unfortunately with past form from UEFA, I can see a fine and allowing several thousand Everton fans to walk into a Croatian hell...

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 19/08/2017 at 03:21:49
Colin #2

Usually I agree with you but in this case I think you're wrong. If I were there would I have retaliated? Probably yes in the heat of the moment but that doesn't make it right.

Sadly Eastern Europe has a real problem with violent vigilante groups. I understand the desire to punish the team but as an Evertonian I know how it is to be tarred with the same brush and punished for the actions of others. Let's face it. Hysel was a disgrace but there were many decent well behaved footie fans there too alongside the criminal elements. Realistically there's only so much a club can do. I don't know the answer. It's a societal problem but I'm not in favor of blanket bans of clubs.

Eric Myles
49 Posted 19/08/2017 at 04:33:01
The whole thing was orchestrated by a couple of band leaders who spent the entire game conducting the performance with their backs to the pitch.

Mike, I went to Inter's last home game the season before last and during the whole game there were half a dozen guys that spent the match with their backs to the pitch orchestrating the home support.

The only times they faced the pitch were half time and to watch the replay of the goals on the big screen.

Must be a European thing, paying to not watch a match?

Alexander Murphy
50 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:15:19
From my spec in MS4 directly opposite the away section (albeit the width of the pitch plus away) I clearly saw:
objects thrown from the away section
objects thrown from the Park End seemingly in retaliation tothose thrown by the away fans
Away fans dropped their long banners then surge towards the pitch and Park End
Home fans gesturing "come and have a go" at Away Fans
An away fan assaulted a Steward
A Home Fan ran onto the pitch in front of the Away Section to repeat the "come and have a go " gestures
Very well executed intervention and containment by hi-viz stewards preventing potentially substantial clashes between both sets of fans
The same home fan that was earlier on the pitch gesturing climb onto barriers and repeat hiis "come and have a go gesturing".
Away fans singing and chanting continually throughout that game, orchestrated by two choirmasters (the repertoire appeared entirely unconnected to their teams play)
Speaking absolutely no Serbo-Croat I cannot speculate as to the content of their repertoire
(Home fans do have some songs and chants which give reference to fighting opposing fans and even hanging a certain opposition. It is common for fans in this country, Everton included, to refer to themselves as an "Army". Though wearing of para-military fancy dress is absent).

The events of Thursday night (as I saw it) were initiated deliberately by a significant proportion of the Away Fans.
Sadly, a pathetic minority of home fans took it upon themselves to disport themselves as "Billy big bollocks".

I am more ashamed with this latter bunch than I am saddend with the medieaval posturing of our visitors.

Mike Keating
51 Posted 18/08/2017 at 08:53:42
Eddie #35 - you'd pay a fortune to have your jeans shredded nowadays - your mate could've been a fashionista if only he had the bottle 40 years ago.
BTW I remember being on the 25 bus after a match against those scumbags and they heaved lumps of concrete through the windows despite being frog marched back to Lime Street by the buzzies.
Martin Nicholls
52 Posted 19/08/2017 at 10:40:29
I watched one of the Croatian thugs in a white t-shirt on the pitch surround kicking out at one of our stewards. He was allowed to then get back into the front of the away section to resume his orchestration. I appreciate that to remove him might have inflamed the situation but why was he not identified and arrested at some subsequent point in time (even at airport departure)?
In my view, stewards are not there to address that kind of situation - that is a job for properly equipped police. A shame our police weren't equipped in the same way as riot police I've seen deployed at a number of European grounds.
Eddie Dunn
53 Posted 19/08/2017 at 10:45:25
Victor- they were definitely Brutus, not Flemings! In fairness- they were straight leg ,unlike the hordes of Mancs still strutting in their "Parallels" and cherry red Martens.
Ben Dyke
54 Posted 19/08/2017 at 10:54:42
I have to say the stewarding and policing was exemplary and has saved Everton and the fans suffering far worse punishment.

Imagine if there had been a real fight between fans that lead to more fighting between fans and potentially abandonment of the match.

Whilst I hate the idea of not having fans at our away games I'm worried about the policing out there and potentially what could happen if our fans get proper attacked and then understandably retaliate.

Don't want our European adventure to go down that route!

Here's praying the Croatian police and stewards outdo themselves next week.

Brian Harrison
55 Posted 19/08/2017 at 11:24:57
I really worry for our fans travelling to the away leg, I can well imagine that they will be met by a hostile reception. I hope that their police and security take as much care as our police did here. But I fear their police will be looking to demonstrate an aggressive approach to show their no nonsense approach to our fans.

UEFA and FIFA have demonstrated there reluctance to punish clubs for their misdemeanors. You only have to see the racist abuse that is handed out to black players in Italy with very little action taken against the clubs involved. Maybe a punitive fine or close a small section of the ground for a game. But if they started deducting points from these clubs they and their fans would soon put a stop to it all. FIFA have deemed it fit to offer 2 world cups to 2 nations who are openly anti gay, as well as other considerations.

Phil Bellis
57 Posted 19/08/2017 at 13:39:45
Sadly, Brian, UEFA would much rather have the income generated by a fine; all the jollies for the Executive Committee cost you know
Ray Robinson
58 Posted 19/08/2017 at 13:44:49
If Hajduk Split were ordered to play the home leg of a previous round behind closed doors for racial abuse (order lifted on appeal), how can they be allowed to play a subsequent round at home in front of a full crowd when there are blindingly obvious signs that it will be marred by violence? Over to you UEFA.
Alan J Thompson
59 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:18:20
When all English clubs were barred from European competitions it was said that apart from the fans behaviour the ground was not really set up to avoid trouble. Given that those seeking to misbehave will always find a way, is Goodison and the policing set up to minimize the chances?
Ron Sear
60 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:09:34
This bunch looked more than a bit alarming as we approached the ground and I think we would have given the game a miss if they had been seated in the Upper Bullens as we are only a few seats away from the away fans. I must admit it must be terrible being a Split supporter if you enjoy watching a game of football, The utter monotony and banality of the chanting, the failure to respond to the game as it is played on the pitch. the focus on pathetic adolescent macho posturing would lead most football fans to call it a day on the game. Looking at the Croatian comments on the Youtube videos showing the disturbance they are clearly up for for a riot when our fans visit. Top marks to our stewards and police, they handled the whole thing with dignity and precision, I suspect the Croatian police might well be a lot less disciplined.
Eric Paul
61 Posted 19/08/2017 at 21:03:51
Alexander Murphy @50

Did you watch any of the game during the "trouble" to make so many observations.? The way I saw it was a load of lads tanked-up at the away game acting like tanked-up lads at the away game.

There is a lot more to be concerned about than lads being lads. It's not right but come on.

Rob Halligan
62 Posted 19/08/2017 at 21:18:05
In response to some of the posts on this thread, such as "it's going to be a blood bath" or "just wait for the inevitable riot" or "we are going to be met with a hostile reception" etc etc etc.

Can I just say, as this game is still in the school summer holidays in this country, there is a good chance there might be some young children, as well as women, who may be going over to Split for the game. These same children / women could also be reading this thread, and quite frankly, all people are doing, is putting the fucking fear of God up them.

I'm going over with some mates, and while we will be keeping a very low profile, we expect the whole journey to pass peacefully.

Another thing. The game last Thursday was probably the first time most of the Split fans had ever been to an English premier league ground, so obviously, they wanted to make a real impression, after all, we all know the reputation English fans have with foreign fans. Split fans will have no personal vendetta against Everton fans next week, so hopefully, as I say, the whole trip will pass peacefully.

We've all seen the videos of their home games, and while the atmosphere will be hostile and intimidating, this is natural for a lot of eastern European clubs.

In the meantime though, can I please ask for no more posts making next week out to be the start of WW3, not until at least next Wednesday afternoon when most of us will have left for Split. My missus is unaware of the trouble last Thursday, and I haven't told her, otherwise she will be shitting herself for a few days.

Anyway, let's all hope for a peaceful trip and a good Everton win on the night.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:03:29
Rob, you go everywhere I know, but these are slimey fuckers mate, my worry is that most blues are travelling independently, and I wouldn't be worried if there was a couple of flights that were full of Evertonians all going together.

I know you said shut up, but be careful mate, simply because a man of your experience knows that these Split fans couldn't fight a real firm. sorry mate, but it's in places like this were safety in numbers really is important.

Enjoy yourself Rob, you have my total respect, and I hope I've called this one wrong, and you have a fucking ball mate!

Eric Paul
64 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:30:00
I have worked in some real anti English hostile places and, guess what, they were the best people I've met unlike big European cities I've worked in where it was very unsafe.

Traveling fans stay together and stay safe
Brian Wilkinson
65 Posted 19/08/2017 at 23:35:21
Rob I hope it does put off Women and children going over, like you seen it all in the seventies, having a 12 year old daughter in the Park stand was bad enough and the fear over her face.

Like Tony has said above, I really hope we are both wrong and the travelling Evertonians have a great trip without any troubles but have a bad feeling about this game, stay safe mate.

Alexander Murphy
66 Posted 20/08/2017 at 05:30:50
Eric, (#61).
Yes, I saw the whole game, including the five minute interruption due to crowd trouble. Which was excellently contained and controlled by our stewards.

"The way I saw it was a load of lads tanked-up at the away game acting like tanked-up lads at the away game".
Well then, that's okay, isn't ? Invading the pitch and throwing broken seats indiscriminately into Home Fans section is acceptable because they were tanked-up?

Makes you wonder why Stewards are even necessary to begin with.

Eddie Dunn
67 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:57:43
Rob Halligan- I hope you are right and the trip turns out to be pleasingly uneventful and you meet some nice locals who greet you with hospitality.
If you are in a mixed group and over the usual fighting age, you may be overlooked by trouble makers.
However, personally I wouldn't dream of going there without a few mates I could rely on to watch my back and I certainly wouldn't take young fans or my wife.
As we saw at the Euros, the former eastern bloc countries have studied the english hooligans and use us as a yardstick, and they are desperate to prove that they are tougher than anyone else.
Have a safe trip.
John Raftery
68 Posted 20/08/2017 at 13:08:11
The friendliest place I have ever been to was Krasnodar, Russia in 2014 and I never saw any trouble at Minsk or Kiev. Providing our fans behave themselves, and there is no reason to think they won't, then there is no reason to expect problems on Thursday. In many ways the reduced numbers reduce the risk, unlike the situation at Lille when huge numbers gathered in the central square and the riot police waded in. In fact I would be more wary about visiting any of the big Italian clubs as opposed to those in Eastern Europe.

I am looking forward to the trip to Split and like Rob I have left my missus blissfully ignorant about the trouble last Thursday.

Phil Bellis
69 Posted 20/08/2017 at 14:28:00
Your parties must be fun for the neighbours, Eric
Geoff Williams
70 Posted 20/08/2017 at 14:34:23
I chatted to one of the stewards in the Main Stand prior to the start of the game and he said the club and police had been warned of potential trouble as there was as many as 200 known trouble makes travelling to Goodison.

If they were known trouble makers why were they not detained at the airport?

Dean Adams
71 Posted 20/08/2017 at 14:48:57
Rob, knowing that you travel home and away for almost all Everton fixtures, I would imagine you have a wealth of experience of how these trips work. As a fan of a certain age, I also imagine you and most other reasonable and sensible fans will, as always, steer clear of any potential trouble. It is fans of your ilk that give the club a good name, so good luck and enjoy your trip.

I look forward to seeing you at Goodison in the near future where I am sure as always we can all enjoy the game and a few pints in peace, both before and after the game.

Nick Astin
72 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:14:50
First time post for me but I feel like I need to let off a bit of steam with regards to our recent crowd trouble last week. This was caused, as we all know, by the minority of Hajduk Split fans, who have previous but are still in the tournament – why? Even more so now after yet again causing trouble at our ground last week.

Anyway, my main point for writing this is due to the fact my son is about to travel to Croatia for the second leg and we are quite worried. He's a good lad, sensible and not one for trouble. He works in London and the other evening got talking to a Millwall fan who asked him which team he supported; my son told him Everton and got into a conversation about football and the people who thrive on the violence side of the game.

It turns out that Millwall had some trouble out there some years ago with the so-called Ultras, I think, and this fan and five mates are going out for the second leg with only one intention – trouble. He even showed my son the flight details on his phone. He is also meeting up with other Millwall fans out there.

Now what worries me is they will be in full Everton attire and mixing with genuine Everton fans. My son also knows a Croatian journalist who was over here for the first leg and she has warned him that the word over in Croatia is it is all about to kick off and to be very careful.

Why have split not been kicked out of the tournament? Or at very least, the game played behind closed doors in an empty stadium? I think its a disgrace and should be classed as urgent to stop any genuine fans from being hurt and our wonderful football club being maimed.

Brian Williams
73 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:36:28
Nick. I would seriously advise your son not to go.
I know someone earlier asked for this subject to be dropped for fear of scaring people but I'm sorry I disagree and people should be well forewarned.
The type of hooligans we're talking about here actually "seek out" opposition supporters and don't distinguish between "innocents" and fellow hooligans.
I've been all over with Everton and been in a fair few scrapes over the years, not of my own making I should stress.
Would I go to the return leg?
Not in a million years, and not if the trip was paid for and I was paid for going.
If my post puts people off going then I'm glad to be honest.
It's all very well refusing to bow or cowtow to the sort of people we're talking about but in my book it's safety first!
I hope I'm completely overreacting and look a fool after the tie is over. I'll never be so glad to be so wrong!

James Hughes
74 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:37:19
Nick- Millwall have not been in Europe since 2005 and played a team from Hungary in the only leg they managed. I think your boy was being wound-up.

Rob, Well said it is not the start of WW3 and for most it will be no worse than the normal away game. For all those fretting, the usual rules apply, if you look for trouble you will find it. If you behave as a normal person you will be fine.

I found Croatia to be an amazing country with lovely people and would love to go back. It is not a war zone, FFS they even shoot Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik.

Steve Woods
75 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:45:53
Nick Astin @72, it may well be that someone was trying to wind-up your son (as James suggests) but if there is any truth in the rumour that a number of Millwall fans are going over to Split, looking for trouble, wearing Everton kit as you describe then I suggest you contact the club and bring your information to their attention a.s.a.p.
Alan McGuffog
76 Posted 20/08/2017 at 16:42:03
Nothing to do with the trouble but I looked at the video on GOT and there appears to be an Irish tricolour in the midst of the Croatians ?
Eric Paul
77 Posted 20/08/2017 at 19:51:18
Yes they are as they are invited
Dave Burnett
78 Posted 20/08/2017 at 20:32:30
With regards to Brian (#73) and his comments about hoping fans don't attend the game in Split. I agree with Rob (#62); I think everyone getting a bit silly with the comments.

Those fans who are lucky enough to be able to afford to go and can get time off work are no doubt fans like Rob, who are used to following Everton abroad and are fully aware of what goes on at away games and don't need these comments. I would love to be able to go and visit Split and enjoy the game and no doubt the tremendous atmosphere generated by their ultras (one of the oldest ultra groups in Europe).

Unfortunately myself and my 20-year-old son will have to hope we get the right result and wait for the group stages to arrange our European games. I can't get time of work or afford to go.

No doubt will be in a foul mood Thursday morning going in to work as I would rather be in Split watching the blues and enjoying the atmosphere in a passionate football mad city. To all those going, enjoy and just think how lucky you are, there are some of us stuck at home who would love to be there. COYB.

Bob Parrington
79 Posted 21/08/2017 at 01:51:27
OMG. Back to the old days when the guys in Pringle jumpers would orchestrate chaos in football crowds. They could be spotted because the rest of us couldn't afford to buy Pringle. Now we have the "Hoodies", Sunnies and covered faces from central Europe.

This needs to be snuffed out very quickly and a "softee" response from Uefa would not help at all. A problem with the way the "authorities" tend to respond to such problems is that they hurt the clubs and the good fans, who have little or no control over the behaviour. Possibly, with modern surveillance technology, the Croatian and British Police should be able to pick out the ringleaders and come down hard on them.

Please let's not have a repeat of the angry late 60's, the 70's and early 80's!!!

Eddie Dunn
80 Posted 21/08/2017 at 09:30:41
Bob, it could be an indication of the nationalist tendencies growing around Europe. This phenomenon has never gone away but our media has been happy to overlook it. Ethnic tensions in the Balkans have existed for many years and the racism, bigotry and homophobia are clear to see. it's probably only a small minority of fans but, like our own football hooligans, they are the ones to watch out for.

Uefa has not done enough to punish the clubs – we should see expulsions, not fines. The fans will change if their fellow supporters get pissed off with them.

I think that the few obvious "choir masters" at Goodison should have been ejected from the ground. The boneheads could see that they weren't going to get charged by riot police, so were happy to kick off!

Paul Washington
81 Posted 21/08/2017 at 14:11:48
Nick #72,

My son is also going out to Split, and I am very concerned about this game. I too hope the threats are just that, and everybody gets home safe and sound.

Surely after Split's previous "form", Uefa should have acted swiftly and done something, ie, closed home games or even expulsion, any trouble and fingers will be pointed at Uefa (yet again).

Brian Wilkinson
82 Posted 21/08/2017 at 15:33:54
Bob@79, There was 200 known ultras Everton were made aware of for previous, they were allowed in England, they were allowed to attend the game, disrupt the game and travel back to. Croatia scot free.

Yes it could have escalated had the Police gone in, but away from the match, why were these guys not arrested and allowed to be free to attend the second leg.

If you think for one minute Me and fellow fans are trying to scare people away, you could not be more wrong, I would be concerned any Children travelling or Women, there will be more friendly and safer games to attend, I bow to Rob who has travelled all over following the Blues, something I did until the past four years where circumstances have had an impact of me attending more games.

I was at Villa Park in 82 when five of us not in the escort got chased and the later getting his jaw smashed and wired, but that was isolated.

I've seen battles in the seventies and scary as well, I do not scare easily and thankfully modern Day football is a fans sport in England, with tough sentences and bans for trouble makers.

The difference over there is there seems to be no such tollarance, that is why me and fellow fans are just a little bit apprehensive about this game, because they seem to be able to do as they like without fear of bans or arrests.

Stay safe fellow Blues, but make sure you stay in groups, I really hope it goes the way Rob and other posters think, Jesus I would be made up to look a right Charlie, never would I be more delighted at being wrong, please be careful over there.

Bob Parrington
83 Posted 21/08/2017 at 16:57:13
Brian @82. In case of misunderstanding - in no way was I taking an aim at Everton supporters. Historically the "Blues" have travelled well. One classic was in Rotterdam before the final against Rapid Vienna, where the police played football in the square with some of the Blues fans.

My aim was at the ultras.

Martin Mason
84 Posted 21/08/2017 at 17:22:54
Can anybody flying there advise on flights. I may have a late go at seeing the match.
Brian Wilkinson
85 Posted 21/08/2017 at 19:15:49
Could not agree more Bob about, Everton in the past have been brilliant on away trips, it's the ultras that are going to spoil it for the Croation locals, just how great our fans are.

Fans have been given a fanzone but have been advised not to display any banners, wear club colours and not get drunk and to stick together, I feel a little bit better that they have designated an area for Evertonians and they will be getting an escort to the stadium, better safe than sorry and glad the Everton website has published details on staying safe.

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