Lancashire Police have issued a statement warning Preston North End fans who stormed the pitch at Deepdale after their sides 1-0 win they will face action.Advertisement
Between 200-300 fans went onto the pitch after the final whistle and a steward was trampled by a police horse during the period.
Chief Inspector Nick Emmett who was Match Commander on the night said, “The behaviour of those involved in the disorder and the behaviour of some people towards officers and stewards was absolutely disgraceful. This was a very difficult situation which presented significant challenges for both the club and for ourselves and we were able to bring the situation under control quickly. The disorder last night was completely unacceptable and we will be making significant efforts to locate and prosecute those involved.”
Police also say they are looking into reports of persistent troublemaking by some fans on both the Blackpool and North End side during the day.
Superintendent Richard Morgan said, “The behaviour of those involved in the disorder at last night’s game was completely unacceptable – there was a significant minority of determined people from both sides who throughout the day, before, during and after the game, were intent on causing problems. There will be a thorough investigation over the coming days and weeks and I want to be very clear that those involved in the disorder can expect a visit from the police and to be prosecuted.”
Preston North End have released a full statement condemning the pitch invasion on their website.
It states: “This incursion onto the field of play is totally unacceptable and is condemned by everyone connected with Preston North End Football Club.
“The measures that had been put in place in anticipation of such an event worked as planned and at no time were rival fans in contact with each other and the pitch was cleared as quickly as possible.
“Contrary to early press reports the steward that was seen on TV in contact with a police horse was not taken to hospital and went home with colleagues after being given the all clear by medical staff at the ground.
“The only steward to receive any injuries at the stadium was working in a part of the stadium occupied by the visiting supporters.
“In reiterating that any invasion of the pitch is unacceptable, we would like to commend the police and stewards for responding in a timely and appropriate manner.”
Tom Clarke’s goal saw PNE beat their Lancashire rivals and progress in the Capital One Cup, but the late scenes marred the victory.
PNE manager Simon Grayson told the post-match press conference: “I was an intense derby match; I thought it was a cracking atmosphere and was on a knife’s edge
“I thought we defended well, we passed it well and we were just waiting for an opportunity to get that goal and although it came from a set piece, I thought we did well in the game and deserved the win.”
Did you go to the game? Or watch it on TV? What did you think of the pitch invasion? Let us know in the comments below