Sports Letter: Hard work ruined

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The Independent Online
I write this letter in deep distress at the events at Millwall's New Den (v Derby, 18 May). No one can possibly condone the actions of the idiots who attacked opposing players during the pitch invasion. However, before the story becomes simply one of hooliganism, there are points to be made.

The club must bear responsibility for the ineffective stewarding arrangements. Sixteen-year-old kids wearing orange jackets were totally overwhelmed by the determined thugs. The club also seemed to allow too many people into one section of the ground - something that is almost inconceivable in an all-seater stadium, with people holding numbered tickets. The police, too, must look at themselves. Their attempts at 'crowd control' were pathetic and actually led to the first pitch invasion by standing lines of officers in front of fans trying to watch the game from their seats. I witnessed one young lad being arrested for standing on his seat to gain a view of the game.

I feel let down. Let down by the club, by the police, by the players, but most of all by the 'fans' who decided to ruin years of hard work by the club to improve its image for the sake of the cheap thrill they gain from running on to the pitch.

Yours sincerely

TONY GOSS

London, SE15 6SY

19 May

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