Police and officials from Tottenham have respinded to claims that reds were unfairly treated at White Hart Lane.
Some fans who attended the match have complained to IMUSA and The Footballers’ Supporters Federation that there were only two turnstiles open prior to kick off and that lead to overcrowding, with dozens of fans missing the first 20 minutes of the match.
Others complained of overzealous ticket checks and police being abusing to fans who were simply querying the queue.
Daniel Pain said:
“I arrived at the ground 15 minutes before kick off and instantly saw there were problems.
From a queue of around 20 wide we were then filtered down to a single file line.
As you can imagine this was slow progress.
United fans were unimpressed and remonstrated with police who were as unhelpful as ever.
The police line was maintained by on-foot officers and mounted police.
This meant Reds were being pushed through close to the horses and many were pushed against them. One fan was verbally displaying dissatisfaction with police “
Amanda Jacks, FSF caseworker also received a report that fans who had tickets for the front of the stand were not allowed by stewards to take refuge from the snow.
“Via social media, we were alerted to various issues surrounding entry into the ground including stewarding that fans perceive as overly robust inside the ground, particularly given the weather conditions.
Since then, we have received several complaints from United fans and we plan to discuss this Tottenham and The Metropolitan Police with a view to addressing these concerns and ensuring there is no repeat at future games there.
In the meantime, I would urge anyone who can given an account of what happened at White Hart Lane to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org“
|The queue at 16:100. Picture with thanks to @wil80m|
An IMUSA spokesman said:
“Our fans were crowded by police horses, stewards and fences into areas far too small to hold them and made treacherous by the falling snow.
The fans were forced to queue in these conditions for over 20-25 minutes because only 2 turnstiles were open.”
A joint statement from Tottenham and The Met Police reads:
“The away attendance was monitored in the run-up to kick-off at 16:00, to ensure we had an accurate understanding of the number of fans both inside and outside the ground.
At kick-off there were 1,597 away fans in the ground, which left us expecting a further 200-250 fans to arrive late.
The full complement of stewards remained in the area as the late walk-up was expected, which was due to the televised (Chelsea v Arsenal) game shown in the local pubs and the adverse weather conditions.
This group of fans arrived almost as one and immediately began putting pressure on the turnstiles (of which there was the appropriate number) to gain entry.
The safety of all fans is our overriding priority and, therefore, when some people at the back of the group started pushing and shoving, the police intervened to ensure the safe and orderly entry of all fans.
This then allowed the stewards to carry out the necessary ticket checks and security searches as quickly and efficiently as possible and for fans to get to their seats as soon as possible.
We should like to remind all fans that it’s important to allow a proper amount of time ahead of kick off to get to the ground in order to be admitted in a safe and timely manner.”
Reds Away editor Dale Haslam said:
“I thank Tottenham and the Met for taking the time to explain their supporter-management operation to us.
While they were placed in a difficult position by pushing from the back of the queue, I feel this could have been avoided by other turnstiles being opened.
Tensions could have been eased had police tried to explain the situation to fans in the queue in a calm manner.”