Arsenal and Birmingham pitch invasions should be severely punished – Zero tolerance

I have written numerous times my concerns in the increase this season of people thinking they can behave how they want in the confines of a football stadium. The sporting world is talking about how the Birmingham Derby was overshadowed by a ‘fan’ punching Jack Grealish. Of course all parties are saying the right things, just as lip service was given to Sterling being racially abused, bananas and bottles being thrown from the crowd, etc.

Some get the benefit of the doubt. The man who was tough enough to throw fruit at a black man didn’t have the gumption to admit it was racially provoked. Chelsea supporters have defended their own suggesting while pictures show Sterling was abused at the Bridge, there’s no evidence racial slurs were used (that’s okay then).

No longer can we just say it’s the minority. The animal who attacked Grealish will rightfully go to jail but others like the pitch invader at the Emirates will worse case get banned from matchdays, yet will find ways to sneak in. Again, I demand zero tolerance. Hit clubs with point deductions and force them to play in empty arenas. Enough of shrugging your shoulders because it doesn’t affect you.

The most sickening aspect of the incident at Saint Andrews was while the man, who wouldn’t act that way in a shop or post office, was being escorted off the pitch, he got cheers and a standing ovation from his peers. Just think about that? Grown adults enabling a monster, giving him the attention he desired. Why? Because he wore a blue shirt? What did he have to do for his actions not to be okay? Knock Grealish out? Make him bleed? Put him in hospital? Then would it not matter what colours he wore?

Imagine a youngster watch that, thousands of grownups telling them it’s okay to act this way. Yet how many who applauded this would have been furious if they knew it would lead to an automatic 10 points loss? Of course, owners have the highest paid lawyers who wouldn’t let that happen. Where teams release statements saying the right thing, how many would fight loss of points or empty stadiums? Because again it comes down to money.

If the FA and clubs really wanted to eradicate anti-social behaviour they could do it right away. This summer, every chairman should sign an agreement to new rules that racism and pitch invasions lead to points loss. If they don’t sign, we know they don’t care.

What’s more important, League position or safeguarding people? The UK media are quick to report racism in Russia, fighting in Italy, missiles thrown in Serbia. Those domestic Leagues ban fans from stadiums and it’s still reported they don’t do enough. Why does the press not demand the same in this country? Is it because it would be an admission that our game isn’t perfect and is regressing?

What you think Gooners? How can we clean up the game we love?

Dan Smith


  1. 14 weeks is an absolute joke ..if that had happened in the street (I’ve seen it happen )he would get 2-3years for an unprovoked attract ,that was seen by the law .
    Not sure what the judge was thinking or if he had restrictions on what he could give him but I would imagine he will be out before 10 weeks of his sentence.
    Regarding the Arsenal fan ,he’s been bailed so it will be a stadium ban and a small fine I would imagine.
    It’s not nice to see and it shouldn’t be happening but unless teams put police all around the pitch then there’s not a lot that can be done ,points deduction and games behind closed doors is the only way to help with the happens in other country’s so for me that would be the way forward .
    We all know teams have hardened follows but a lot of them are well behaved and well mannered (not all but most )at games and away from match days ,it’s just that select few idiots who are just showing off ,and has a parent that as taken his kids to football matches it is not something that I or other parents want to see .

    1. Some of the Birmingham fans applauded & cheered… shows their mentality too! Then apparently he was blowing kisses & sticking his thumbs up!! Omg what a tool. I read he has a child & one on the way? He’ll have to explain that to them one day… not forgetting the lifetime ban from Birmingham & a 10 year ban for any other match, as well as a prison sentence…. how proud they’ll be of their Dad.. not!
      I read that the guy at the Emirates (Tyson Fury’s cousin) will receive a lifetime ban from Arsenal. Stan Collymore thinks we should have points deducted (as well as Birmingham)

      1. Lol good old Stan the man ,he does like to preach with that midlands accent ,do t think there’s any need to mention his past ???‍??
        My brother in law is a brum fan ,he said it can get quite nasty when they play most midland Derby’s .

  2. Depends on the damage inflicted

    If not dangerous and not harmful, banning the intruder for life should be enough to set an example

    1. What? They should both be in prison and made an example of. Banning intruders for life hasn’t put anyone off so far has it? Luckily neither player was hurt but could easily have been stabbed. Better stewarding is required and clubs punished in some way for failing to maintain their duty of care.

      1. We rarely hear about incidents like that, so it means the die-hard fans would think thrice or more before committing such action

        Because they know they would not be able to come to the stadium again if they dare to do it

        1. Well these two “die hard” so-called fans knew they would be banned and it didn’t put them off. Plenty have been banned and everyone knows encroachment onto the field of play is not only a football ban but a criminal offence. Not only that but fans under banning orders have been known to still go to games because unless there is face recognition technology employed it is not easy to stop someone attending a game.

        2. Well they didn’t think twice about it did they, knowing that what they did is not only a football ban but a criminal act. In any case a ban does nothing as they still manage to go to games as has been proved. No, strict sentencing, time in prison and not just a few weeks either. Make an example of them, scum cowards.

          1. You cannot completely stop ANYTHING via ANY punishment.

            Every developed adult knows that.

            Death penalty was supposed to eliminate murder, yet among developed countries the US has highest murder rates. Now what?

            As I said, only a hysterical child thinks anything can be COMPLETELY eradicated via punishments.

            Bans plus a few weeks in jail are enough. Of course, when it’s harmful and/or dangerous, give them the normal jail time, measures in years instead of weeks.

  3. Off the topic but one good news that Lacazzet free to play against Rennes after his ban is reduced…
    That’s great news…

  4. Yeah let’s dock points for pitch invasion after all theres no chance of a rival fan buying a ticket for a game , let’s say a spurs fan buying a ticket for an Arsenal game then because he knws the punishment running onto the field.
    Arsenal get docked 6 pts an finish outside the top four yeah thats fair!!!

    1. Mate if a rival fan did that on got arrested don’t you think in this day and age the truth would come out who he supports.within 5 mins of that brim fan getting arrested his name, age ,lifestyle ,pets names were all over social media.

        1. I agree with @Brian Nye, rival fans could easily infiltrate the home support and wreck havoc in the hope of forcing a point deduction for their rival team. I do not support the idea at all. The best route for me is stewards to do their jobs better and prevent these pitch invaders and for those who do ellude them then heavy fines and jail time to await them once they are caught.

  5. So Arsenal have announced that Mkhi is player of the month for February & goal of the month goes to…….Ozil for that cheeky little bounce ?

        1. He might score on Thursday Sue ? so the boys are heading to Dubai to train and play a friendly, I trust you’ll be there ? ?

          1. Haha are you feeling alright?! ? I’m sorry to break it to you – but he’ll be on the bench ?
            Yeah I saw that, can’t be bad hey?! Yes I’ve phoned work & told them I won’t be in… ? never fancied Dubai John….

            1. I think so ? is he on the bench Sue ? oh definitely not wish I was going ? haha so you watching Juve vs Atletico Sue ?

              1. Eastenders is on! Will put it on after! Or City ? great news about Laca hey?! Something has gone our way ?
                So Auba was going to celebrate scoring on Sunday by putting on his Batman mask…. but someone forgot to take it out!! That’ll be hilarious seeing him in that

                1. Excellent news Sue, now are you convinced we’re going through?? Juve are winning, Ronaldo ? haha yeah I read that somewhere he’s probably keeping it for Thursday ? how’s Coco ?

                  1. I’m warming to the idea John.. although I don’t have a choice do I? As you’ve said we’re going through and that’s it ?
                    City are 2-0 & who scored them? Aguero (I’m rubbing my hands together thinking about those points!!) 3-0 now & cruising
                    Well I hope we see it ?
                    What the hell is up with Griezmann’s hair??
                    She’s fine John thanks ?

                    1. We are yes as good as through its just a matter of turning up and being professional? 3-0 up now ? why what do you get if you win?? His stylist was drunk ? Aww sweet that’s good Sue ?

                    2. You can win money…
                      Ooh I like how you said that – playing against us ? so we’ll be back in it ?
                      It’ll be quite emosh, his last game. He’s been good for us lately & very professional. Not throwing little tantrums like you know who! I want to go to the last home game (& the palace game)
                      How’s your daughter?

                    3. That’s what you get when you win the Europa League and finish 3rd ? I’m not too bothered Sue I’ll be more sad to see koscielny go ? I wanna go to Baku ? Sanchez ? Yeah she’s great Sue thanks for asking, how’s your kids ?

                    4. Ronaldo’s at it again!
                      Haha is there anywhere you don’t want to go?! ?
                      It’s a bit emosh when any of our players go (for me anyway) ? yes whenever Kos goes will be a sad day! Haha of course Sanchez ? ?
                      They’re good thanks John… my daughter just messaged me about City winning & said she loves little Kun & his godly thighs ???

                    5. Haha he’s rolling back the years Sue ? still on a knife edge this game one goal for Atletico changes everything! Even Lichsteiner ? ? Love the piano haha. God, you and now your daughter staring at his thighs ????

                    6. Yes & if Griezmann scores it… he’ll be back advertising head & shoulders b4 we know it ?
                      I said any of our players, um that was a slight exaggeration.. well put it this way – when the decent players go ?
                      Haha he’s her favourite player from City (I just like a nice thigh!) Plus I have Kolasinac (although I didn’t like seeing him hurling on Sunday ?)

                    7. I thought it was me I was seeing things, he did vomit didn’t he ? no head and shoulders or Europa League to save Atletico this year they’re heading out, Juve have been excellent they could win it and Ronaldo could win his 6th European cup ? haha a nice thigh ? well bet she’s happy tonight 7-0 ?

                    8. Yes… ewww made me feel a little queasy ??
                      Ha no stupid little dance from Antoine!!
                      Haha like your pun they’re ‘heading’ out ? very good John!
                      Love him or hate him, Ronaldo is some bloody player!! Always wanted to go & watch him at Real. My son in law did. I bet Ramsey enjoyed that game!
                      She certainly is John… the City juggernaut is back!!

                    9. Haha well we’ve all puked ? they can put that on the shampoo bottle Sue ? agreed I loved the real Ronaldo but this Ronaldo is admittedly better ? in Spain Sue ? Haha well how could you not be after that ? I’ll take 7 nil against Rennes ? there’s another player who does that dance Sue I can’t remember his name though lol

                    10. Yes in Spain.. he’s also been to Bayern, Napoli & PSG.
                      Imagine how awesome that’d be 7-0 on Thursday… Auba might as well play in the Batman mask ?

                    11. Do they have to keep showing cancer ads every bloody time.. I think we all get it’s a terrible illness my dad died with pancreatic cancer and my niece had leukemia so I’m far from unsympathetic! But it’s seriously repetitive. Why did he go to all those foreign games Sue ? Haha that would be hilarious ? there was a guy I watched for nice the other day he looked very good Allan saint maximin ?

                    12. That’s horrible John ? poor you… I don’t really know what else to say to that… I’m sorry. How is your niece?
                      One was his stag do.. then they just decided to go & see other teams..
                      So you’d like Arsenal to buy him then?

                    13. Haha yeah he wears a 200 quid Gucci headband he’s super skillful just remember I scouted him first ? I would go to Dortmund for a game atmosphere is electric ? oh she’s well now Sue she was 6 months old when she was diagnosed. She had stem cell treatment in Germany which was completely successful she’s 13 now ?

              2. 200 quid.. is that all? ?
                Yes but I wouldn’t want to hear YNWA… that song does my bloody head in ?
                Well I’m glad to hear it! ?
                My youngest son had a kidney op when he was 1… that was horrible… can’t imagine what it’d be like going through leukaemia

                1. I know but it’s only a headband ? yeah true I don’t like it either hahaha. Yeah I can imagine Sue the stress of it, I hope he’s good now though ? That was bad and you think it can’t get any worse, my mum had a massive brain haemorrhage during my niece’s treatment, my dad was out and found her in the kitchen luckily he did or she wouldn’t be here today she was rushed to hospital and had emergency brain surgery. She recovered well from it and her long term memory is fine but she does occasionally forget where she puts things stuff like that

                  1. He’s all good John.. was discharged after a few years. Omg that’s awful too… just goes to show you never know what’s round the corner & you have to live life to the max hey?! Life is too short to be miserable that’s for sure!!

                    1. A few years god was he on dialysis Sue ? You most certainly do good and bad things happen in life that’s just how it is ? haha I always laugh at that Costa coffee advert never a dull cup the guy screaming like a woman is too funny ?

                    2. He had a pyeloplasty & a couple of stents fitted. So had to keep going back for scans & tests where they’d put dye in him to see how the kidney was functioning. No dialysis.
                      I don’t think I’ve seen that ?

                    3. Oh dear that’s sounds really uncomfortable Sue ? I hope he’s ok now though ? haha you probably have it’s not new ? well Sue let’s hope Bayern march on tomorrow ? don’t you work too hard you have celebrating to do Thursday night ? haha Goodnight Sue ?

  6. The disrespectful attitude of players towards officials is in my view a contributory factor in the hooligan attitude of so called fans.They see their idols getting away with bad language and aggressive attitudes towards referees and they become fuelled with hate towards any form of authority.Compare this with the attitude of Rugby Union players and fans who rarely confront authority and accept that what the ref decides has to be accepted rightly or wrongly.The authorities need to come down hard on players and fans who step out of line and any player who runs towards the ref cursing and showing aggression should be sent off.If this means that 5/6 players are dismissed, so be it.Maybe then everybody will take stock and realise that football is a game which should be enjoyed by fans, players and officials.

    1. As much as I don’t tolerate the madness of field invasion for 5 minutes of fame and that innocuous attack on Grealish or any players I think imo the level of punishments people are suggesting is inappropriate. I have seen a player getting away with more aggressive behavior on his fellow player with just between a warning or 2 to 3 match suspension. I had seen in my time as an Arsenal fan Diaby had his leg broken, Eduardo had his leg broken and Ramsey had his leg shattered into pieces by thuggish players who just had 3 matches ban why those players were face with career threatening injuries or lose their legs. People might say it is occupational hazard but the truth is in everyday job if you sustain a life threatening injuries you are due some compensation and can even sue your company for damages. In football there is nothing like this and we are here discussing sending some morons who may have had too many deer ? into 2 or more years in prison for field invasion when players are getting away with all sort of assaults on the field.

  7. Dan Smith, you and many others, including well known sports pundits have no idea what you are trying to do! What you propose is to punish the many innocents to stop the guilty. That is outrageous, morally wrong and moreover will not stand up in court where it is bound to be overturned, as indeed it should be. This hasty, even though well meant but reactionary article is clearly without any, bar the merest, deep thought at all. Do you honestly think it right to punish the many for the sins of the few? Brecause if you do – and that is what your article recommends , then thank God YOU do not make laws. The way to stop it and swiftly too is for Draconian punishments on the individuals involved and on NO INNOCENT BYSTANDER. The joke 14 week sentence , out in 7 weeks , is an outrageous and plain stupid sentence which will do NOTHING whatever to stop- this type of action escalating. What Paul Mitchell committed was common assault and he should have been sentenced to the maximun prison sentence allowed by the law. The judge involved must have been nearly as daft as your idea to punish the innocent to stop the guilty., Anyone who thinks in this way is stupid, not thinking properly and damages the rule of law.

  8. Jon Fox
    That’s life
    Hundreds of examples where loads of peeps are punished due to minority
    But sorry , nothing more important then safety of people
    If the price is points deduction or stadium ban then that’s worth it if it teaches fans the game is serious about fixing this problem
    If you slipped on wet floor in areas because staff didn’t put sign out and break leg, you she company , is that fair?
    A school could get shut down because one department fails but the another is doing well
    Is that fair ?
    Should juventus not have been relegated for match fixing because they had good peeps not involved ?
    Should Croatia not have been forced to play in empty stadiums because some fans are good?
    Should clubs not be out into administration because it’s not the tea ladies fault ?
    That’s life I’m afraid
    But how you teach kids watching at home not to enter pitch , hit them where it hurts , their club

  9. Yeah, I never understand why they cheer pitch invaders who attack players. Someone running in their underwear on the pitch is due a hearty laugh, I agree, but violence? Cheering someone sucker punching somebody? It’s like if you walked into the office and somebody hiding behind the door jumped out and punched you in the face and everyone burst out laughing. Puzzling behaviour.

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