A report published by the National Crime Intelligence Service shows that arrests, involving spectator violence towards players, have increased. According to NCIS, hooligans are becoming more sophisticated in breaching security.
There have been high profile cases of crowd-trouble, Aston Villa’s captain, Jack Grealish, was assaulted on pitch during the Derby. A fan ran onto the pitch and punched Grealish in the side of the head.
Gordon Taylor, the Chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association called for “a lid to be put on the problem” before tragedy occurs. During a press conference, he said: “It was disgraceful, cowardly and criminal but we have seen an increase in such behavior at clubs this season. There has been racist abuse, there has been anti-Semitism and now there is real fear for the safety of players.
“We need to find the right balance between educating supporters who are there, we have been down this road before and we do not want to go there again and see the game threatened.”
Additionally, Everton FC have launched an investigation after an object was thrown at former midfielder, Ross Berkley, during their premier league match against Chelsea on Sunday.
The alleged incident came two days after the Football Association, Premier League and EFL issued a joint statement urging “all supporters to carefully consider their behavior at the weekend’s games and “all games in the future”
These issues have sparked outrage and fear that football hooliganism is becoming a trend.
“Now there is real fear for the safety of players.”
Dr Geoff Pearson, who specialises in football violence, says we shouldn’t be focusing too much on nation wide trends.
Watch: Dr Geoff Pearson speaks to Mersey Mash about hooliganism