Top cop urges footie clubs be ‘on guard’ against violence at grounds next season

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A top cop is urging football clubs to watch out for trouble as fans return to grounds after lockdown.

Cheshire Chief Constable Mark Roberts said lifting of Covid curbs, the Euros ­disorder and security staff shortages at stadiums gave him “pause for concern” ahead of the new season.

Shameful scenes marred last Sunday’s Euros final at Wembley, with thousands of drunken louts barging into the arena without a ticket.

Mr Roberts, the national lead for policing football, insisted he was not saying there would be riots at every game but “common sense tells you we need to be on our guard this year”.

During the Euros there were 2,322 reported police incidents in England and Wales, with 612 football- related arrests compared to 1,487 incidents and 337 arrests in the 2018 World Cup.

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Fans became violent outside Wembley stadium last weekend
(Image: Reuters)

Mr Roberts said: “Generally we’ve seen an increase in incidents at domestic football in the year that follows a tournament.”

He called for a review of the £7million paid by clubs to police matches compared with transfer and agents’ fees.

And he urged courts to get tougher with issuing football banning orders to keep out thugs.

He also said there were positives from England’s Euros run. “There were some spectacular scenes of the fans getting behind the team.

“We need the support of the fans to make sure they have a good time, and if you see stuff happening to report it. We don’t want the minority to spoil it for the majority.”

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