Thursday, 20th September 2018
An eye-witness account of Saturday's disturbances
Filed: Monday, 12th March 2018
Author: The Sheriff

I happened to be in the area directly underneath the Directors' Box after the second goal went in during Saturday's 3-0 defeat against Burnley.

Karren Brady scrammed as soon as things began to get heated. David Sullivan and David Gold didn’t know what to do and it was a good 10 minutes before security personnel came down and began talking to them.

Sullivan seemed reluctant to leave his seat at first. Oddly, given that he was allegedly subject to a barrage of missiles, including coins, he never flinched. Gold was spoken to a couple of minutes later but there was no urgency in either of their departures.

Somebody throw a large object (think it was one of the steel posts) into the void between the walkway and elevated Directors' Box; there’s a large gap and whatever it was it just plummeted, sounded heavy. I also saw what looked like a water bottle cap flying through the air.

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However that was it - and although I cannot state definitively that nothing else was thrown, from what I saw, whilst they were in their seats, nothing else was. I never saw anyone cowering, taking cover or attempting to shelter themselves. Maybe I missed it all? Although I have my suspicions that someone is perhaps being economical with the truth. Again.

I was in the vicinity for around 15 minutes. I stood back, I didn’t join in with the chanting, but was able to watch the two people who have killed my club squirm in their seats. It was deeply uncomfortable for them.

At no stage did I feel threatened or in any danger. It wasn’t bedlam or complete disorder, the targets were like rabbits in the headlights. Why it took so long for them to leave is beyond me, as soon as the numbers were increasing they should have been removed.

That they sat there for so long and absorbed the fans' disdain tells me they are either incredibly thick-skinned or incredibly arrogant in their own belief they haven’t done anything wrong.

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Whatever security was in place simply wasn’t working. A few were trying to push back the tide, I even stood next to one old steward for a bit who was just leaning against a barrier. It would have been very easy to storm some doors, but there was restraint from the fans.

It was an overspill of emotion. There was much gesturing, a lot of angry, hurt fans venting their spleen from a positon where they couldn’t hurt anyone. Nor did anyone attempt to take it further. It was almost self-policing, given the lack of security.

One chap, sat a few seats away from Sullivan, remonstrated with the crowd as he left. Sullivan the younger tried to calm him down as he was ushered away and this was met with a barrage of abuse.

The chanting wasn’t always coherent, many couldn’t get the hang of the ‘lies, lies, lies’ song… not that it matters. What counted was the visible depth of feeling. Fact is, losing 3-0 to Burnley at the Boleyn - this shouldn’t happen. But the stadium isn’t safe, and never has been.

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On Saturday afternoon, after nearly eight years, I got to see the three people who have destroyed an institution face the fans' fury. I'm not going to pretend I wasn’t happy, it felt like justice was being served. Now you fucking know what we’re going through. It hurts doesn’t it?

Make no mistake, the club is gone. It can’t win, none of us can now. The Board have taken a massive gamble and it has failed in spectacular fashion.

I have no sympathy with the Board or those who continue to defend them. They are the reason we’re in this mess, not the fans. And if the demonstration that they worked so hard to prevent taking place had gone ahead as originally planned, the incidents in the ground simply wouldn’t have occurred.

You reap what you sow.

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