Premier League clubs agree new measures to tackle pitch invasions

Thursday, 9 June, 2022 27comments  |  Jump to last

Premier League clubs have agreed new measures to tackle pitch invasions as well as missiles and pyrotechnics.

There was a glut of pitch invasions at the end of last season across England, including when an Everton fan clashed with Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira after the Toffees avoided relegation

As a first step, visiting clubs will provide stewards for away matches.

» Read the full article at BBC Sport

Reader Comments (27)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 09/06/2022 at 22:02:17
I see the Premier League have brought in measures concerning pitch invasions.

I read the BBC report about this. At no point is the pitch invasion at The Emirates mentioned. Nor is the attack on Robin Olsen, which has resulted in a ban for the supporter concerned.

The incident at Goodison produced no ban or prosecution. Balanced reporting as ever, where Everton are concerned! NOT!!

Tommy Carter
2 Posted 09/06/2022 at 22:09:30
The incident at Goodison and what that idiot did to Vieira was disgraceful.
Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 10/06/2022 at 11:51:28
It's a strange one, Jack. The report as such (it took a bit to find) says virtually nothing. More away stewards and then a load of blather from Richard Masters about how naughty the pitch invaders are.

Seems the topic was discussed by the 20 Premier League clubs... then what? Since the rules are already in place and crystal clear, it becomes a club responsibility to enforce them... but how?

Back in the day, they used to have a nice little sign that said "Keep off the pitch" – that seemed to be highly effective. Now it has to be CCTV, ID the perpetrators and ban them for life.

It would be far better and more effective to bring in a set of stocks pitchside and shackle one miscreant therin for the duration of each game, but facing the crowd, who would be free to hurl suitable items in their direction.

Oh, hang on... that's not gonna work.

Michael Lynch
4 Posted 10/06/2022 at 12:13:05
I was surprised that then Wales qualified for the World Cup for the first time in a thousand years (or something), there was no pitch invasion. I wonder what it was that held the crowd back?

Anyway, whatever it was, the Welsh FA should sell it to the English FA.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 10/06/2022 at 12:28:10
I too didn't take a lot from reading that, Michael.

Discussed some stuff, strong statement. What now?

I am also a bit unsure as to what having visiting teams' stewards present will make. Or am I missing something?

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 10/06/2022 at 17:28:32

I found a bit more in The Guardian:

Premier League to issue football-wide bans for pitch invaders next season

Looks like these were just discussion items at the Premier League AGM. You'll like the bit about "Thirty's Plenty"... Hmmm, doesn't quite sound right, that one.

Jason Hewly
7 Posted 13/06/2022 at 20:21:02
Every time I see a pitch a invasion, I thing have the same thought, "what a bunch of fucking idiots".

The pitch invasion when we secured safety was embarrassing. Talk about over celebrating. I get the relief of dodging the bullet (for now), but that was humiliating. Stay off the bloody pitch.

Rob Halligan
8 Posted 13/06/2022 at 20:32:47
Don’t know if anyone has seen this by Danny Mills, blaming Everton fans for the troubles at the CL final…….

Kim Vivian
9 Posted 22/06/2022 at 13:37:00
Not seen that, Rob but I guess we have to expect twattish papers to use twattish columnists. Twats the pair of them.

Having said that I was a little surprised that clubs enjoying fans' pitch encroachment celebrations (I refuse to call them invasions and reserve that for the Russians) did not get some sort of financial penalty. For the most part they are in good spirit but can easily spill into something else as the twat (whilst on the subject of twats) who confronted Viera gave a hint of.

Jamie Crowley
10 Posted 22/06/2022 at 14:44:19
I thought the pitch invasion after the Palace game was spontaneous, filled with unfettered joy, and frankly brilliant.

It clearly shouldn't happen all the time. But some of these things are why I watch sport - the uplifting of the human spirit.

I understand the league addressing it. There's real safety concerns. But what we saw at Goodison, Nottingham Forest, etc. was simply fans overjoyed at safety or promotion, wanting to celebrate with each other and the players. I see no harm in the rare expression of exuberance on a larger scale. In fact, it makes the game more lovable.

After seeing the pre-game scenes of blue flares, rabid fans willing their team - literally - to victory, then coming back from 0-2 with 3 goals capped off with a phenomenal diving headed goal near the end, do you really blame a rabid fanbase for invading the pitch to celebrate? I don't.

Everyone saying, "It's embarrassing for a Club like Everton to celebrate safety" is missing the mark in my opinion. When a massive Club hits the skids and spirals, only to stay up in dramatic fashion having looked into the abyss and avoiding sporting death, the relief and joy is real. Celebrate. Otherwise, what's the point man?

I've never felt a rush like that in my life (sans Red Sox 2004). I'm quite certain I would have been on the pitch celebrating were I there.

I'm kind of sick of society legislating to the lowest common denominator and ruining so much for the 99% of good folks out there. Punish idiots - severely. Don't take away my life experiences or, particularly, my joy.

Brent Stephens
11 Posted 22/06/2022 at 15:02:56
I'm a regular attender at our away games and we already see EFC stewards in attendance. So will there be a stipulation as to how many? and exactly what their role will be, viz a viz home stewards?

Interesting also for me is the stark difference in stewarding across different clubs. Across the park, as just one example, step into the aisle and you're shepherded back into your seat, no ifs no buts. At other grounds, it's much less stringent, and at some you don't see a single steward in the aisles.

Jay Harris
12 Posted 22/06/2022 at 15:24:15
Well said Jamie,
I agree totally.

As someone who ran onto the pitch from the boys pen in 1963 I can vouch for the sheer emotion of the occasion and not a negative mention from the authorities or the media afterward.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 22/06/2022 at 15:32:22
What are called pitch invasions in the UK are a pretty routine part of sports life in the US, particularly college sports. A major upset in college basketball is always capped by the home fans, mostly students, rushing the floor. And when a college football team wins a championship or a bowl game, the field quickly fills up with its fans. It's expected, almost choreographed. Injuries and serious damage are exceedingly rare (outside of people pulling down the goalposts), and unpleasant confrontations like idiot-versus-Viera don't happen because the coaches are surrounded by cops to prevent it.

In pro sports, however, it's become virtually unknown here. Lines of police, some of them mounted, surround baseball and football fields at the end of games to prevent these scenes because in the past people got hurt and fields were damaged so badly they couldn't be used anytime soon. Not stewards, full-scale cops.

Against Palace, we saw the worst and the best of the invasions. The worst was the morons running across the pitch after Dom's goal, but while much was made of that, it delayed proceedings by just over one minute. The best was that explosion of joy that filled Goodison after the game. So many immortal images, like players and fans singing together and the manager dancing with a teenager, that never would have happened if the fans had stayed up in the stands like they were supposed to. Sheer ecstasy, nobody hurt, nothing broken, just a mass expression of pure happiness. 30 minutes we will all treasure for the rest of our days. (Except, of course, for people who somehow think it was "embarrassing" or "humiliating".)

I understand the regulatory changes, and I'm all for banning the real morons, but I'd hate to see the joyous pitch celebration go out of the game.

Joe Corgan
14 Posted 22/06/2022 at 15:40:34
Jason you’re talking absolute shite. It is not embarrassing to celebrate your worst fears suddenly disappearing. And that bunch of “fucking idiots” you refer to were probably a quarter of the fans there on the night.

I don’t condone pitch invasions but I understand them, especially the one at Goodison. There was no trouble or mal-intent. Protected by stewards and police, the players, staff and manager continued to celebrate near the dugout. Yes, someone goaded Vieira but it was Vieira that made it a physical altercation.

You’ll never keep fans off pitches unless you pen them in. And then you run the risk of killing them. And you can’t identify and ban them all if it’s a mass invasion. The only solutions are massive fines against the club or points deductions. Even that won’t stop some people.

Personally I’m totally fine with scenes such as those at Goodison in May. Leave it be. Identify and prosecute those who actually cause trouble, such as Olsen’s attacker. Don’t punish everybody else.

Tony Shelby
15 Posted 22/06/2022 at 16:31:42
Christ, if swerving what looked to be nailed-on relegation doesn't justify running onto the pitch in celebration then I don't know what does.

If we won the league - or even a cup (any fucking cup) - I'd probably throw one off too, whilst I was stood there, just to complete the experience.

John McFarlane Snr
16 Posted 22/06/2022 at 16:35:22
Hi Jamie [10] Mike [13] & Joe [14],

I have invaded the pitch on two occasions, 1954 at Boundary Park, when Everton were promoted back to the First Division, and 1963 at Goodison when we won the League against Fulham.

The scenes that took place recently against Crystal Palace will be remembered for a long time by a lot of fans, and only age and ailments prevented me from claiming a 'Hat-Trick'.

I stood in the Park End and marvelled at the celebrations, men women and children sharing a truly tremendous accomplishment, an 'I was there' moment.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 22/06/2022 at 16:38:04
I envy you those memories and experiences, Sir John.
Ray Robinson
18 Posted 22/06/2022 at 17:07:50
I'm 69 next month but I was one of those on the pitch after the Palace match. Sure, it is a little embarrassing to have to celebrate not going down but anyone who lost sleep during the last few months of the league campaign will understand the complete elation of having the nightmare of relegation (possibly an existential issue for Everton, given the debts, new stadium etc) lifted in one fell swoop. I've seen Everton win 4 league titles 3 FA cups and a European title in Rotterdam but that night against Palace ranks up there with the best of them - including the Bayern Munich game.

Football's not the most important thing in life for me but it's still pretty high up on the list! As long as nobody is attacked, abused and no property is damaged (i.e. goalposts), a benign pitch invasion at the END of the match is actually a very healthy phenomenon. It proves that football's soul is still alive in this SKY era.

Punish the idiots, let the rest of us rejoice.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 22/06/2022 at 17:54:00
Ray (18) good on you Ray getting on the pitch at 68, I’m a bit older couldn’t get on the pitch at the end of a fabulous night for every Evertonian whether they were at the game or not, it rivals any Everton game I’ve been to in the past including all the title and cup wins plus the win at Oldham in1954 to gain promotion.

End of the game is a perfect time to enjoy the celebrations but not before the end as you say.

Ray did you need a leg up to get on the field?

Ray Robinson
20 Posted 22/06/2022 at 18:02:48
Dave, had just got over a double hernia op and have a gammy knee but I got there without any help. Mind you, I couldn't catch my daughter who had never experienced anything like it. A life-affirming moment to treasure!
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 22/06/2022 at 18:04:26
I'm on the side of those who saw it for what it was. An outpouring of sheer emotion and pure relief.

It was a joy to watch. Especially the young fans.

As I've documented, due to a ticket malfunction and stewarding direction, I ended up with the Palace fans in the lower Bullens, so couldn't get to the pitch if id wanted to. Many of the Palace supporters stayed to watch and were congratulating me and Everton, a lot of them clapping and applauding.

Take it for what it was in my opinion. Sheer devotion and relief, knowing we could sleep again.

Will Mabon
22 Posted 22/06/2022 at 18:48:09
Just a typical post-millenium "Safety" panic talking point and something-must-be-done follow up. Yawn.

One "Incident". One. The biggest potential for trouble was when Vieira squared up as it could have caused an unfavourable response. Not judging him, the idiot got carried away, getting in his face like that. But just that, in the whole chaotic melee of celebration.

If this is a safety issue, what on earth will they do about the Black Friday sales?

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 22/06/2022 at 19:03:04
Or the crowded narrow streets around Goodison Will? Should we have the annoying and restrictive people control flows similar to what I've experienced at the Emirates and Wembley?

And you're right. When those shop doors open on Oxford Street, it's every person for themselves! Go at your own risk!!

You can't punish or condemn the majority who joined the team to rejoice in relief because of the almost action of one or two. It was vastly all in good spirit and good faith.

It would be like banning all clubs for 5 years from competition because of the behaviour of one.

I'm going there again and will get into trouble. It's only Wednesday. Pills. Wine. Calma as they say in Italy.

Dennis Stevens
24 Posted 22/06/2022 at 19:21:38
I remember Worcester [my home town] City clinching the Southern League title at home to arch rivals Kettering Town in 1979 & the St Georges Lane pitch [now sadly redeveloped] being swamped with joyous supporters. There wasn't even any trouble with the Poppies fans as they made their way back across the pitch from the Canal End - they were easy to spot as they were still wearing flairs!
Will Mabon
25 Posted 22/06/2022 at 19:25:36
Danny, not been to Wembley for a long time, not visited the new stadium but I can well imagine. Once the "Culture" starts it gains a horrible, spoiling momentum. Already has.

A friend of mine dropped someone off at the large Tesco in Warrington several years back for Black Friday. He stood and filmed in through the doors as it began. The tech and electrical gear was first thing straight ahead.

Within seconds was a pile of people, the biggest I've ever seen, with others running up the pile and diving over it! Then fights of course. I'm not exaggerating. Funny but crazy. And actually a little unsafe.

Much as most of us in the thread are against OTT reaction, it's not an easy one. The green light for pitch "Invasions" can't be given but it doesn't need an active over-interjection. I think it sort of naturally happens about as one would expect.

As suggested by others above, address the individuals involved properly if there is trouble and leave it at that (but let's do Ronaldo for dangerous phone-throwing).

John McFarlane Snr
26 Posted 22/06/2022 at 19:33:05
Hi Mike [[17] our footballing life hasn't been plain sailing for a while and when the threat of relegation was lifted, the reaction of the crowd was in my opinion the response that any club in similar circumstances would be proud of. There were no threats of violence, no hint of unruly behaviour, just pure delight and emotion.
I was moved by the faces of young fans who weren't the only ones to have witnessed a once in a lifetime incident,

I have seen many great performances but I've never experienced anything like that evening, like some others on this site I had the misfortune to have watched a relegation team. In 1951 Everton needed only a point against Sheffield Wednesday to guarantee safety, [a 0-0 draw would have done the trick] Wednesday won 6-0, but ironically they too were relegated. There have been more disappointments than ecstatic moments but that's the life of a football fan.

Hi Ray [18] like yourself, I appreciate that there are more important things in life than football, but football is our escape from the realities of mortgages/rent, gas/electricity bills/ etc. I have often claimed that on match days my world is 120yds long by 70yds wide for the best part of three hours, a respite from a sometimes wicked world, and yes it's still a part of the life of a football fan.

Hi Dave [19] I truly can't remember a finale like that against Crystal Palace, you and I have witnessed one or two classic days/nights but I have to admit that this tops the lot for me, I'm looking forward to the next get-together where I hope we can swap some long dormant tales.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 23/06/2022 at 09:45:47
Ray (20),

Brilliant for you and your daughter, something to remember and savour for the rest of your lives. I watched from The Upper Bullens with loads of other Bluenoses and joined in the celebrations with everyone else hugging those I knew and strangers in the vicinity, an unbelievable occasion.

John (26), I know you would have enjoyed the end of the game, made better for you watching Josh joining in the fun and joy on the pitch.

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