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Opinion

There should be no punishment for Newcastle United on bottle throwing incident after previous Crystal Palace precedent

5 months ago
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The Crystal Palace match on Saturday wasn’t the most exciting.

The goalless draw featuring last on Saturday night’s Match of The Day as Newcastle came away with their second point of the season.

With such a poor match, it is a real gift to the media when something happens off the pitch that proves newsworthy.

So when Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka was struck by a plastic bottle thrown from the away section, no surprise that it has been given plenty of press coverage.

However, talk of punishment for Newcastle United and the wider fanbase is surely a bit of a joke.

When one loser does something as lame as this then it is that person who needs punishing and nobody else.

It would be different if you have an ongoing culture of bad behaviour at a club and they have done nothing to identify and help punish those responsible.

In fact, we have the perfect precedent from an incident (actually incidents) that previously happened at Selhurst Park.

On 11 February 2015, Crystal Palace played Newcastle, the first match between the two since Alan Pardew had swapped clubs.

Papiss Cisse gave Newcastle the lead and coins were thrown by a Palace fan (or fans), one of them hitting Fabricio Coloccini.

Both club and Police pledged (see below) to catch the person or persons responsible but nobody was ever identified.

To make it worse for Crystal Palace, three days after that incident, coins were then thrown at Liverpool players during an FA Cup match.

Once again nobody was identified/caught.

Crystal Palace themselves were not punished themselves in any way for either/both incidents, so all a bit crazy to suggest Newcastle United should be held responsible for one individual in an isolated incident, that they had no control over.

There were rumours post-match over the weekend that the offender had/has been identified, hopefully that is the case and he (or she…) can be punished, and we can all move on.

Crystal Palace official statement – February 2015:

‘We have conducted our own investigation into the incidents at our last two home matches (v Newcastle and Liverpool), as well as making our CCTV footage available to the police.

We take a zero tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour and, if the perpetrators are identified, they will be banned indefinitely from the stadium.’

If they are season ticket holders their cards will be made void without a refund.

The stupid behaviour of a few supporters risks creating a negative image of our club and we would appreciate the help of Palace fans in identifying the culprits, who are not welcome at Selhurst Park.

The club already has extensive security measures in place, including body cameras for stewards, and will continue to improve CCTV coverage at the ground.’

Police statement after that February 2015 Coloccini incident:

‘Officers in Croydon Borough are investigating coins being thrown during the Crystal Palace FC vs. Newcastle United FC match on Wednesday, 11 February.

The incident was reported to police by stadium staff and is understood to have occurred at around 20:45hrs after Newcastle scored in front of the Holmesdale End.

There were no reports of any injuries made to police. There have been no arrests and officers are working with the club and match officials as the investigation continues.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information about it can call police on 020 3276 2219. Alternatively anyone wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.’

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