In October, we wrote about how an Arsenal fan who does a lot of work for a local charity was unfairly banned from The Emirates and the impact this had on the local charity. The back story is that a fan got in a few verbal’s with another Arsenal fan, 7 hours after a game, 3 miles from the ground. It was an argument not related to football, and just so happened to occur on a day Arsenal were playing. It was a situation that could happen to anyone at anytime.
The fan in question was banned by the club, based on advice by the WPC who headed up the Arsenal police intelligence team. This despite the judge stating during the case that the fan should not be banned as it was clearly not football related. What occurred was clearly exploitation of power, banning a single fan on the basis of a decision by a single officer.
Since our article on the matter, there have been developments in the case. The WPC who ‘advised’ the club on the matter has since is currently “subject to ongoing disciplinary measures at present and no longer a part of the Arsenal Football Intelligence Unit.” The reason behind the disciplinary measures have not been released, yet this case was not the 1st time that said WPC was controversially involved in the ban of fans, after once saying “The football ban should send a clear message that police will not tolerate disruptive behaviour, before, during or after any matches” after two fans got banned due to a fracas which started due to them standing up.
So with the WPC in question now no longer part of the Arsenal Football Intelligence Unit, the question is, why are the club still upholding the ban, despite it being a ban based solely on her advice. A petition was recently started by friends of the banned for to gain “Justice For The Archway One”. Pin badges are also being sold by the badge sellers throughout pubs and outside of the stadium to raise funds to enable the fans to fight his case against the club.
We at SheWore back this campaign completely. This is Big Brother, This is 1984. This is the club banning someone for an action which just happened to happen on a game day. It could happen to anyone. You could be drinking in Liverpool Street on the day of a game, get in an argument, and get banned, or Regents Park, or Euston, or even on the banks of the River Thames in Temple, all these places are around 3 miles from our ground.
Both Arsenal Football Club & the Metropolitan Police had been served subject access requests under the Data Protection Act/Freedom of Information Act for all correspondence/evidence/statements relating to the decision to ban Mr Doherty, however neither has been forthcoming with any information stating they will not disclose to third parties & that all correspondence is confidential. Mr Doherty has made complaints regarding the actions of both parties & this now lies in the hands of the Information Commissioner’s Office. It must be remembered that Failure to comply with the Data Protection Act is a Criminal Offence!…
***EDIT*** at 5pm on 10th Dec I got a call from Mick saying the information request has arrived (timing eh?) and proves the policewomen in question has told the club she didn’t ask for a ban from the Courts, when she did. So misled Arsenal football club into giving him a ban***
The decision to ban the fan was clearly wrong it is impacting on the charity and sets a very poor precedent.
Sign the petition now and show your support, not just for the banned fan, but for all fans who could be potential banned after this poor decision.