New claims of Bournemouth staff being ‘Attacked’ by Newcastle United fans in bar area
A lot of coverage has been given to the arrests made after Newcastle United fans spilled onto the side of the pitch at Bournemouth.
Matt Ritchie scoring the last gasp goal and as he and the players celebrated in front of the away section, a surge of fans helped create the issue.
My view is that there was no malice in what happened then, simply fans celebrating a last minute equaliser after travelling the length of the country.
Since the incident, fans of many other clubs have said that this has happened many times at Bournemouth, with the poor design of the stadium and placement of away fans almost making it inevitable at such times.
However, this new report below is a different matter, if it proves to be correct.
The Bournemouth Echo reporting that there was a totally separate incident during the match.
The newspaper saying that Newcastle fans let off a flare in the bar area before half-time, with the smoke activating bar shutters to automatically come down.
The report saying this escalated the bad behaviour of some Newcastle fans, one said to have jumped over the counter and helped himself to merchandise, whilst others are claimed to have laid hands on the staff.
If this is true then it is totally unacceptable.
Like any football club, Newcastle have a minority of fans who can be an embarrassment at times.
Any regular away traveller in recent years will have seen examples of behaviour by a small minority that is totally embarrassing.
However, a bit of a surprise it happening on this trip as it is usually at games where there are more tickets and irregulars travelling to the match.
At Bournemouth, Newcastle only had around 1,300 tickets so with them being hard to come by, it is a surprise that there was an incident.
The reality is though that only a handful of people can lead to something like this happening.
We don’t want to be a club with supporters waving big foam hands or making a noise with those pathetic things they hand out at stadiums such as Leicester.
BUT Newcastle fans treating people with respect is another thing altogether and whilst I hope nobody is banned by Newcastle United for the encroaching on the pitch incident, I’d be more than happy for Newcastle fans to be banned by the club if found to have been actively involved in the actions outlined below.
The Bournemouth Echo:
‘A police investigation has been launched and officers have confirmed a used flare was found in the main Away bar.
Several members of staff have contacted the Daily Echo to describe the shocking incident.
They said a flare let off in the bar affected smoke alarms and that shutters started to come down automatically as a result of the smoke alarms being activated.
Ellen Lucas, a 17-year-old runner in the bar said: “It was horrible and really scary. They thought we were deliberately putting the shutters down to close the bar and they wouldn’t let us explain.
“They were all really drunk and it started getting nasty. One of the bar workers was pulled over the bar, injuring her ribs – she was crying.”
Ellen said a fan leapt over the bar and started stealing items and throwing them over the bar.
“They were chanting and throwing stuff at us. They were trying to grab everything – I was really shocked.”
Bar worker Chloe Mathers said: “One man grabbed me by my hair and pulled me across the bar. My ribs are bruised.
“I have seen a lot while working in that bar but never anything as bad as this.”
A senior member of staff at the bar added: “It was just before half time and they had all started coming in to get more alcohol.
“Newcastle scored a goal and all of a sudden there was smoke in the room and the shutters started coming down.
“They were trying to force the shutters up and we had to stop serving because they were getting too rowdy.”
She said one member of staff suffered a black eye after being elbowed in the face, another was pulled over by her hair and another had a swollen eye after a bag of toffees was thrown in his face.
The staff member, who does not wish to be named, added: “The stewards managed to get them out eventually but the bar was a total state and we couldn’t open again.”
A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Something triggered off the smoke detector in the bar area resulting in the shutters to close, as is standard practice. Later that day while the area was being cleaned a used flare was discovered.
“One supporter is said to have accessed the bar area while the shutters were closing. This matter was dealt with by staff. No official incidents of theft or assault have been reported to Dorset Police, however some initial details were obtained and enquiries are ongoing relating to this matter to confirm if any offences have been committed.”
Senior figures at Newcastle United are liaising with AFC Bournemouth and with Dorset Police as inquiries continue.’
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