Rise in pitch invasion assaults should be a worry for all football fans

And here we are on the eve of the final game of the season.

At one point, it was looking like we would be hosting Everton in pole position to get top 4, and potentially relegate Liverpool’s second club.

Two defeats in the last 2 games as seen us lose control of the situation and now reliant on Norwich getting a win at home to Spurs.

Everton have also secured safety after their victory against Crystal Palace on Thursday.

I felt a little embarrassed for Everton as their fans ran onto the pitch following their victory.

Is surviving relegation something their fans should really be celebrating?

I remember when Farhad Moshiri sold his shares in Arsenal and bought into Everton.

The prediction of many pundits and Arsenal fans was that they would become a force to be reconned with. Bankrolled by Alisher Usmanov in the background, they would take Arsenal’s place in the “Big 6”.

6 years on from his takeover, Arsenal fans are disappointed about finishing top 5, whilst Everton are celebrating being 5th from bottom.

At the final whistle, Patrick Vieira got into an altercation with a fan. Vieira should face no consequences.

Pitch invasions can be a fabulous thing – A joyous occasion where fans and players can celebrate together on the hallowed turf of their club.

But recently pitch invasions have had a tint of darkness about them.

There was fighting on the pitch when Rotherham beat Gillingham to secure promotion to the Championship. A few weeks later a pitch invasions of Bristol Rovers fans delayed their last game of the season against Scunthorpe by around 10 minutes.

Then in the last week we have seen a Nottingham Forest fan jailed for 24 weeks after attacking Billy Sharpe of Sheffield United. He also received a 10 year banning order.

Whilst the Patrick Vieira incident grabbed the headlines, what was happening at Port Vale against Swindon should have been the bigger news.

Players reported being physically assaulted, as well as having “bottles, coins and lighters thrown” at them.

I just do not understand fans who run onto the pitch to assault, abuse or goad the opponent. You should be running on to celebrate with your fans, your players.

Now this is the minority of fans behaving like this.

Type of lads that have had a little too much to drink, stuck a little Columbian up their nose. But these fans will ruin it for the rest of us.

Authorities will now crack down hard on pitch invasions.

I expect police to end up ketteling fans on the pitch and then processing them. Each one getting a fine and FBO in accordance to the law regardless of whether they were there to celebrate or attack.

The other option will be to punish the club.

Points deductions are the only thing fans will care about (not fines). But this punishes an entire club and fan base for the behaviour of very few.

Fair play to those Everton fans who surrounded Vieira and helped him get off the pitch safely. Especially the chap who still had a kid on his shoulders.

Fans need to realise that assaulting, abusing and goading opponent players and management whilst on the pitch is unacceptable.

Enjoy the game tomorrow.

Keenos

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