After Millwall fans invaded the pitch at Wembley after the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final, the EFL said that it “will raise a number of concerns with Wembley as to how the fans were not only able to access the playing area but then able to get so close to the Bradford City team, who showed great restraint given an incredibly challenging and difficult situation.” The EFL added that it cannot allow a set of circumstances to exist where the playing area becomes an appropriate place for fans to celebrate and Wembley, like stadiums across the country, have to be prepared to deal with the type of events that emerged on Saturday efficiently and effectively so as to ensure there is no repeat. It added that “The efforts of one particular steward in keeping the Millwall fans away from the Bradford City team should be both recognised and applauded.”
The EFL stated that it has witnessed an increased number of pitch incursions this season and will look to work with its Clubs and supporter groups across the country to establish what practical measures can be put in place to reduce the number of instances in the future. The statement also said:
We will be encouraging Wembley to work with both the Metropolitan Police and Millwall to identify those whose behaviour created the most concern on the day and to take the necessary and appropriate action.
After The chorus of disapproval from the majority of Millwall fans forced to witness Saturday’s pitch invasion was a stark indication of the feeling inside Wembley Stadium at the end of the League One Play-Off Final but unfortunately it failed to prevent some unsavoury scenes.
It is a criminal offence to enter the playing area and whilst some of those who made the decision to break the law did so to celebrate their team’s success back to the Championship, a mindless few opted to goad the Bradford City players.
Their actions were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the EFL. The efforts of the Millwall manager and some of his players to remove the offenders from the pitch should be complimented as should Neil Harris’ appropriate and welcome apology on behalf of his Club.
The EFL will be writing to Stuart McCall and his Bradford team to apologise for the situation they found themselves in.
Wembley Stadium has said it will work with the authorities to identify offenders. It also plans to review security arrangements. According to the Evening Standard, the Met Police Match Commander Superintendent Jon Williams said:
Match stewards and police officers inside the ground worked quickly to safely deal with those who entered the playing area shortly after the final whistle.
The vast majority of those who entered the pitch left of their own accord. A post-event investigation is underway to identify those who illegally entered the playing surface.
MEN Arena terror attack – arena security under review
Security managers in venues across the UK are reviewing the circumstances of the terror attack in the foyer of the MEN Arena at 10.30pm on Monday 22nd May 2017. A suicide bomber detonated an IED in the foyer, probably waiting to listen for the completion of the concert’s encore to time his movement into the arena. In the foyer, parents were arriving to pick up their children, who were beginning to exit the main bowl, some stopping at the merchandise area.
Operator of the MEN Arena is SMG, whose arena security credentials are not in doubt. The arena is secured by experienced staff using technology such as CCTV. Venue managers are well aware that the published manuals of terrorist organisations list stadiums and arenas as suggested targets and security is therefore top of managers’ agenda. No doubt careful reviews of working practices will take place in the light of this horrific attack.