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Trouble flared after the final whistle of the pre season game at Meadow Lane and four fans were arrested on the night, The violence led to radio phone ins and a media dash for the panic button, as fears were that football violence had returned with a vengeance.

Police have told the BBC that it has taken until now to make the arrests because of problems with CCTV. The game took place at the end of July.

Not wanting to sound as though this is in any way condoning violence, or trying to demean what happened. But it has all been blown out of proportion. There were only a handful of spectators that made there way on to the pitch and it was more like handbags at ten paces, than full blown football violence. Fair enough, there is no excuse for going on the pitch, but there was hardly a significant police presence and little effort was made to stop those that did.

I lived through (and survived) the seventies and eighties and nothing that happened that night would have got an airing back then. More a case of overexuberant young lads flexing their muscles and making the most of inadequate or a lack of policing.

All incidents like this do, is to increase the rights of the police to have a say when games are played and ensure that plenty of police as well as stewards get plenty of overtime. Like I said, this is not condoning violence in any way, but let's get things in perspective. At least the press got a few column inches filled and the local radio stations had something else to debate other than the fortnightly emptying of wheelie bins again.




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The Journalist

Writer: guinless Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 14 2007

Time: 5:47PM

 

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