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Video Evidence: Police And Security Issue At City

Phone video asks questions of Police tactics, GMP and MCFC respond

Published on October 16th 2011.

Video Evidence: Police And Security Issue At City

THERE's a YouTube clip doing the rounds concerning the Police and the Manchester City security staff Showsec. It's from Saturday 15 October's home game against Aston Villa.

Twitter is alive with it. So is YouTube and other social media.

Posted by Standing 109, the description to the video runs like this. 

'An aging blue in 109 who refused to sit whilst those around him and the away fans stood. Showsec picked him out as their let's-make-an-example-for-the-day (they do this every week) and then called for the police.

'The bloke in question sat down before the police went to his seat, even with those around him still standing. They went and spoke to him, and, whilst he was sitting down, told them he hadn't done anything wrong.

'I didn't see how the man ended up on the floor but he can clearly be heard in the video saying he takes tablets for a heart problem before they took him out and at no point did I see him forcibly resist.'

Standing 109 goes on to say: 'An exemplar for any aspiring stewards or policemen and women in how not to defuse a situation. The above description is my eye witness account and I would swear to it in court.'

Showsec are not making any comment. They're keeping schtum and referred us to Manchester City.

City are saying this: 

'During yesterday’s match, a supporter who was persistently standing was politely asked to sit down by stewards, following complaints from supporters who were unable to watch the match.  After continually refusing to co-operate with the stewards, the Police intervened to help eject the man.
'The man refused to leave, prompting a small number of surrounding supporters, who became aggressive to both the stewards and the police. The man in question was ejected and a further two men were arrested for assault.
'Manchester City Football Club has a zero tolerance policy on abusive or violent behaviour to staff and the matter will be investigated in the upcoming days.'

As far as Confidential is aware there will be no overhaul of or change to the stewarding of matches in the light of these events.


Police comment

Chief Superintendent Gerry Donnellan said: "Just before half time during the match between Manchester City and Aston Villa, club stewards and security requested the assistance of GMP as, in line with their rules, they were asking a man in the crowd to leave the ground because he refused to sit down. 

"Officers only assist if there is a breach of the peace or if there is a likelihood of a breach of the peace occurring and in this case there was one; stewards were struggling with the man and other people in the crowd. 

"The man was arrested on suspicion of causing a breach of the peace, but de-arrested when the breach of the peace had ceased. 

"He was seen to collapse and paramedics attended, where he was given a clean bill of health. 

"Two men were arrested on suspicion of common assault after incidents with stewards. One was later charged and one was given a Fixed Penalty Notice.

"The force's Professional Standards Branch has received a complaint from a third party and will respond in the appropriate fashion in due course."


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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2011.

"Confidential is also aware of the volatile nature of football fans and their frequently one-eyed view of the world"

Perhaps confidential should be aware that football fans are one eyed when talking about on the field stuff but the vast and overwhelming majority of fans are perfectly reasonable about everything else to do with football and the world at large.

It is the taring of all football fans with one brush as you have done above and as the police do that is the problem in match day policing. If you want to read more about policing at football matches the football supporters federation is a good place to start - http://www.fsf.org.uk


James SpencerOctober 16th 2011.

I notice that ManUni. are allegedly finding their away allocations reduced because the their fans won't sit down.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2011.

Incidentally the clubs pay for the Police.

J.A.ROctober 17th 2011.

I sit on the level above and in the block directly behind this section and watched the whole incident from an excellent view-point.

Admittedly, I do not know the cause of this and can't comment on whether the chap should have been kicked out.

However, the behaviour of the security was disgusting.

I watched as they dragged an old man out by his neck and hair; they waded in to the crowd, shoving and grabbing at City fans; they pushed a group of fans backwards onto the concrete steps; at one point several ShowSec members made their way up the stairs, further into the crowd, grabbing and shoving fans in an aggressive offensive.

In short, their behaviour was aggressive and dangerous, serving to heighten tensions and provoke fans who were not initially involved in this incident.

Rightly, City fans stood up against this behaviour - both their initial attempt to kick a fan out for standing when thousands around him did the same and later against their aggressive behaviour toward the crowd and this chap.

Perhaps wrongly, some fans were aggressive themselves. Few who saw this unfold could blame them however.

Beyond this incident, there seems to be a significant problem with stewarding at City. Fans are regularly picked on randomly and kicked out for insignificant, even non-apparent, offences.

While all around them many thousands of others commit the very same alleged 'offence'.

The 'family atmosphere' agenda the Club has is being completely mismanaged by security management and decision makers - this is then reflected in the decisions and behaviour of those on the ground. Unfortunately, some members of security staff are aggressive and cause further problems due to their unsuitability for this sensitive role.

Generally, this agenda is causing problems. The vast majority of fans in large parts of the stadium view things very differently to the concept of a 'family atmosphere'. Until they kick everyone out for standing, singing too loudly, swearing or something equally as insignificant, these one-off aggressive evictions of fans will continue to anger and disenfranchise fans.

How on earth the idea of a 'singing section', and the signing stand which the club are pushing for the Villareal game, match up with the idea that everyone has to sit down, not swear and not get too excited, I have no idea.

The club want more women and children to attend - families spend more. In pursuit of this, they risk spitting in the face of the loyal supporter who kept this club afloat in some very dark days - who want to drink, sing, stand and enjoy themselves at the match.

Yesterday, in policing this agenda, they managed to upset women and children too - I saw three young girls running out of the crowd crying as the security waded into the fans.

By the way, this is no comment on the police. Once they became involved the situation appeared to calm - no surprise as they replaced the security!

AnonymousOctober 17th 2011.

The bloke warned them he had a heart condition! He was hardly going to start a riot was he? Yet they continued to man handle him and induce an episode.

From what I could see where I was sitting in the ground, there were plenty of people standing in the same section as this man, as were the majority of the Villa fans, yet this man is single out so that they can set an example. Shameful.

SmudgeOctober 17th 2011.

Seen as thought the club actively encourage City fans to do the Poznan after they score (Basically standing up, facing backwards and jumping up n down), how can they chuck someone out for this?

Simon SmithOctober 17th 2011.

If he's got a heart condition he's so worried about then he should have got up and walked out when he was told he was going to be ejected for standing up too much.

Why should having a heart condition mean he can ignore a demand to leave your seat from stewards or police?

If he drops dead of a heart attack because he's resisting police and stewards then that's his lookout. He can't expect immunity from the stadium rules because of it. To suggest as much is ridiculous.

Could he have happily stood there shouting racist abuse with the police and stewards standing aside because he'e got a dicky heart?

No, so why should he get away with a lesser infringement of the rules because ot it?

The fact that he was sitting down when he was asked to leave is irrelevant.

Years ago in the family stand a couple of us told the stewards about a man who was using foul language loudly in front of lots of young children. When the stewards told him to leave he was not using foul language. They'd merely watched him for a few minutes to confirm our complaint then decided to get rid.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 17th 2011.

I think the point is if he refuses to leave and has a heart condition then the stewards should involve the police who can arrest him and remove him appropriately in a calm manner, as they should be trained to do.

What happened was an excessive and aggressive use of force against a vaunerable person.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2011.

how brave of the fat bastards baggie ken

Martin MolyneuxOctober 18th 2011.

Hmmmm... did the Stewards really get complaints about him standing up!?! Judging by the reaction of the fans around him, I'm guessing not!!! Pull the other one City!!

suzyblewOctober 18th 2011.

I have never seen such contempt for people as I have from the stewards at city and I go through airport security regularly!

Simon SmithOctober 18th 2011.

I've been a City season ticket holder for 28 years and have been going to watch City for 44 years, mostly on the Kippax.

I've never had a problem with stewards, the police or anyone else and I've never heard it discussed as an issue with people I know who also watch City.

I suspect the people who claim the stewards are a bad lot are looking at the matter from their own particular pespective of what they consider to be reasonable behaviour in a football ground. This could explain why most complaints about stewards come from predictable sections of the ground.

The man I and the fan behind me complained about for continuous loud foul language in the family stand a few years ago was bad tempered and foul-mouthed to the stewards as he walked out when told to. He was convinced of the unreasonableness of it all.

Chris MurphyOctober 19th 2011.

Maybe Simon Smith would be better served by watching the footage on Youtube before commenting, and in that light, some of his post was glaringly misguided.
"You expect it from certain sections of the ground."
Really? Is that why stewards are evenly distributed around the ground? Or are you harking back to those kippax days?
I've never heard{ this subject} being discussed.
Oh yes, the arsene wenger of the CoMStad, obviously.
Also reading your previous post, the crass comments within, are plentiful.
Try watching the footage and spot the fans who, according to the club and stewards, are the ones complaining.
Shocking behaviour by both the police and (especially)the stewards, and compounded by the "see no evil" attitude of the club.
Gary Cooke was the voice of the fans upstairs, so who will be fighting for us now he has gone?
City, speak out now before this becomes an embarrassment for you.

Chris Murphy

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