Hundreds of Crystal Palace fans are expected to march on Selhurst Park this Saturday before handing in a petition following reports of heavy handed policing and stewarding at their team’s home game against Middlesbrough on Saturday November 7th.
The Palace message boards have lit up with tales of over-zealous policing and unfair treatment from stewards with many asking why the authorities took such a heavy handed approach? Even Palace fans themselves saw the game as a fairly low key fixture and there seems to be no ‘history’ between the clubs from what we can see.
Around seven fans were thrown out of the Holmesdale Road Stand. While this number may not be huge it was the manner in which the operation was handled, in a very rough and aggressive fashion, which has angered supporters.
There have been some pretty serious, and specific, allegations from Palace fans who say stewards acted in a violent, threatening and abusive behaviour. If true they are absolutely 100% unacceptable.
We’ve asked supporters involved to document these so we can take them to the club, police and safety advisory group for their responses. Hopefully we’ll have more news on that next week.
Now we’re obviously not suggesting that every last person in the Holmesdale Road Stand is an angel who wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
But there’s no doubt the club’s tactics need to change as they’re only succeeding in alienating more and more fans at present. It's definitely not the first time we've heard from Palace fans about their stewards' behaviour.
There is undoubtedly a significant group of people who feel they’ve been wronged. We’ve even read tales of fans who’ve been going since the 60s saying enough is enough and refusing to renew season tickets while the main thread discussing this on the CPFC forum has now had more than 30,000 page views.
Palace fans have decided to stand up for themselves and do something about it – and good on them for that.
If you’d like to join them click this link for further details on where to meet or sign the petition here.