Arguably the most important topic in English football throughout the week was not the results of key matches, but rather the actions of some fans inside the stadiums.
It was learned on Thursday that a season ticket holder at Nottingham Forest had been jailed for 24 weeks for headbutting Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp after Tuesday’s game between those clubs, and Sky Sports noted on Friday that Merseyside Police are investigating an incident involving Crystal Palace. manager Patrick Vieira and an Everton fan reported that happened after fans stormed the pitch following Everton’s emotional win on Thursday.
The English Football League said on Wednesday it could impose partial and even full stadium closures next season to punish teams for future pitch invasions. According to Jacob Whitehead and Luke Brown of The Athletic, the Football Federation of England issued a stern warning to clubs in a statement released on Friday.
“We are very concerned about the rise in anti-social behavior from fans as we come to the end of the season,” the FA said. “Football stadiums should always be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone, and these incidents are totally unacceptable and have no place in our game.
“It is illegal to enter the pitch at any stadium and these actions put players, supporters and those who run the game at great risk. This simply cannot continue and we can confirm that we are investigating on all incidents.
“Clubs play a vital role in addressing this issue, and they must prevent pitch invasions from occurring, as well as take their own action against those who break the rules and the law. The FA will seek to do whatever is in his power to work with clubs and address issues from a disciplinary perspective.
“We are also reviewing our regulations to help eliminate this behavior and keep everyone inside a stadium safe.”
Former player and pundit Stan Collymore took to Twitter to share some alarming data:
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