Newcastle United are a little concerned about tomorrow night’s game against Anzhi Makhachkala, and the club have issued a statement to fans attending the game
“Newcastle United fans build on their reputation as some of the most vocal and best behaved fans in European football this Thursday.”
“Newcastle fans have gained a glowing reputation amongst football authorities after showing exemplary behavior across the club’s past European adventures, travelling home and away to cities across the continent in their tens of thousands without incident.”
“But they have seen that reputation undermined this season after a number of safety breaches, including pitch incursions and anti-social behavior during previous Europa League games at St James’ Park.”
“Club officials are now urging fans to get that reputation back on track this Thursday by showing their support in the right spirit – giving Alan Pardew’s side a significant home advantage over their visitors in the process.”
Flares have been smuggled into St James’ Park in the last European home match with Metalist Kharkiv – and then last year a fan ran onto the field in the qualifying round game against Bordeaux.
UEFA fined Newcastle for those previous incidents, and the club have said the fines will rise significantly if this nonsense continues.
Steve Storey is head of safety at Newcastle United, and he has said there will be more vigilance as the fans enter St. James’ Park tomorrow night:
“We’ve never fallen foul where UEFA are concerned before this season.” “Our fans have rightly been recognised as exemplary and they have proven that it doesn’t take items such as flares, which are banned, to make an incredible atmosphere.”
“Sadly, a small element has acted in a manner in previous rounds – and particularly in the last Europa League game here against Metalist – which has threatened to damage that reputation.”
“Not only have they endangered safety, they’ve also made coming to the match very uncomfortable for law-abiding fans directly around them, and spoilt it for the majority. We’re working hard to combat all types of anti-social behaviour in and around St James’ Park.”
“It’s simply not welcome and make no mistake; there will be bans for offenders and further action will be taken by the police.” “We’re asking fans to arrive early on Thursday as there will be additional searches as a knock-on effect, as well as increased stewarding and increased policing.”
“We hope the outcome will be that people remember Thursday for all the right reasons and we can all look forward to another huge European tie in weeks to come.”
There’s a couple of things to say here, obviously we want to win the game tomorrow night and advance, but it’s also an opportunity for Newcastle to show we have the best fans in the world to a watching TV audience, which will be huge
So let’s not be daft and ruin the great reputation Newcastle fans have for supporting the lads – and always behaving themselves.
Please don’t damage that reputation – and let’s win the game too.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org