No-one Likes Them
by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (April 13th 2013)
The wit of Millwall fans’ chants after Man of the Match Shaun Maloney put Wigan Athletic ahead in this evening’s FA Cup semi-final: ”One nil to the empty seats,” was soon lost amid ugly scenes at Millwall’s end in the second half. A small and ignorant minority of their fans started fighting each other. It blighted the cup run and the sterling efforts of a club and majority of fans who deserve far better.
For more than twenty minutes the thugs disgraced Millwall, fighting each-other, leaving children crying while stewards looked on refusing to intervene. The inquest will begin and no doubt the FA will punish the club, but what could they do about this? They have developed initiatives within their community and done their best to isolate the thuggish element they were notorious for years ago.
”I haven’t seen the images yet,” Kenny Jacket said.”I haven’t looked at any TV screens. I was aware of some booing behind and I didn’t turn round and see why. My substitutes were saying there was a long period of fighting, but my concentration was on the game and I didn’t look round until I came out from the dressing room where we talking about. I mean really our talk and my talk afterward [was] how are we going to keep the momentum of the club going forward.”
There were arrests at Wembley, but sadly some of these idiots, bent on trouble, headed to Trafalgar Square, to cause trouble there. ”Obviously then I walked into questions about crowd trouble – one that I hadn’t seen, or two that I haven’t seen the images and it’s to some degree taken me by surprise” Jacket said.”I think I would need to see everything. I would need to speak to people that did see it before I really formed an opinion”
In a statement issued by the club Millwall CEO Andy Ambler said: “Our position is clear. Anyone associated with our club found guilty of violent behaviour will be banned indefinitely from Millwall matches in addition to any punishment they receive from the authorities. Having worked so hard to show the positive side of our club both on and off the field, we cannot allow the actions of a mindless minority to undermine that.
At this stage we are still in the process of establishing the full details of what happened in a section of the ground during the second half. When we have those facts at our disposal and the police have completed their investigations we may be in a position to comment further.”
The FA responded to the unwelcome news – there were ten arrests at the revamped Wembley Stadium. “The Metropolitan Police and The FA are this evening investigating scenes of sporadic violence and disorder in the Millwall FC end at today’s FA Cup Semi-Final,” said FA General Secreary, Alex Horne. “The FA and Wembley Stadium will work with Police and representatives of Millwall FC to review all events.”
The statement continued: “We will look to ensure those involved are identified and we would call for criminal charges and a football banning order to be brought against them. The FA deplore the scenes which have taken place, which are unacceptable. Everything will be done to take action against those involved.”