|AFC Bournemouth 4 v 0 Swansea City|
Saturday, 6th November 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Be warned Swansea City fans this weekend
Thursday, 4th Nov 2021 15:03 by Gruff Stephens
There’s nothing like it, the joy and delight of being at the game and watching your team score, those few moments of utter jubilance, you grab the closest person to you and it’s euphoria. However, this weekends game does come with a few warnings.
First of all Bournemouth security do seem to enjoy throwing fans out of the ground, having spoken to numerous fans of clubs they do impose themselves on paying spectators. When the away side score it’s noticeable the yellow and orange jackets will run towards the away section pushing people around, and generally imposing themselves on movement, and at times not exactly helping matters. It should be of course that away supporters are allowed to celebrate, regardless of the teams playing. Stewards should not be quick to lay hands on people and push them about just for celebrating. At Bournemouth this does happen a lot.
In their defence, and there is always a defence, Bournemouth do suffer from a high ratio of fans who for some reason jump on to the pitch to celebrate their team scoring a goal. That’s a person who is generally composed and level thinking caught up in the moment. So, may be the stewards think by pushing people who aren’t committing an offence they are merely preventing that happening. It’s a good point, but of course it’s dodgy ground. Unfortunately in response, they are not in the main trained to lay hands on people, especially in crowds, let alone defend themselves when it goes wrong, and at certain grounds the stewards allegiances are more pro the home team.
Again in defence of stewards, they are merely acting how they see fit at the time, lawfully or otherwise. That’s a civil or criminal test for later. However, swans fans should remember this, and it’s important. Bournemouth do have a high ratio of celebrating fans who do enter the field of play. It actually happens quite a lot, it happened on Wednesday with the travelling Preston support as an example. It’s happened several times already this season, The pitch is easily accessible, it does require an element of self control to stay in your allocated area.
And that’s the most important area for concern. Most people who are detained on any football pitch are arrested and end up in court. The fines are heavy, for some without an employer or who are self employed there may not be a huge risk job wise. For others they lose their jobs, their employability, in fact I know one Wrexham fan who lost everything. Literally everything. Job, house, family, the whole shooting match. His indiscretion was running on to a football pitch. First offence ever. The knock on was incredible. Put all that to one side, the fine is steep. And then there’s the key thing, it’s a three year ban from all football stadiums, reporting to the police on match days, no international games, no more good times with your mates, and you can’t even enter a prescribed area around the ground, so even a pre match meet up is impossible. The swans themselves could well ban you for life as well. It has happened on many occasions in the past.
The price you pay for a moments euphoria is so high it’s almost unfair to many. But thems the rules, that’s how it works. Rightly or wrongly, that isn’t the point here, what is the point is Swansea fans are entering an away section on Saturday, at a ground with a high alert on fans encroaching on to the pitch, and there will be a sell out away support. Of course no steward should lay hands on people celebrating or going about their business, and all supporters should keep a check on that behaviour. But think about the aftermath of getting detained if you did go on the pitch on Saturday, indeed at a club with a very high statistic of fans who do it.
It isn’t worth the risk, and it most certainly isn’t going to improve your life, it might save you a few quid in the long run, but think about what you will be missing. It’s going to be a great day out for swans fans on Saturday, make it a memorable one for all the right reasons
*All photographs featured in this article are from crowd incidents at AFC Bournemouth, there are many, many more.
There have been 1,120 arrests and 985 prosecutions for going on to the pitch since 2010
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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