Stan Collymore: Punish the clubs pitch invaders love — dock points and ban beer - Stan Collymore

Stan Collymore: Punish the clubs pitch invaders love — dock points and ban beer – Stan Collymore

Sport & Transfer News

Fourteen weeks in jail is not long enough for the offence Paul Mitchell committed during the Second City derby on Sunday.

It should have been three or four years, because that’s the sort of sentence the rest of us would have been looking at for a similar pre-meditated and unprovoked assault.

You can’t just run up to someone in the street and clump them round the back of the head without a hefty punishment, so the same really should go for football as well.

I’d issue Mitchell a life ban from attending matches anywhere in Britain, just as I would anyone who’d ever been found guilty of a football-related offence. It staggers me that some of the most notorious football hooligans from the past three or four decades are still allowed into grounds to this day.

I’d extend the ban to cover the continent, too, if I had my way.

And then I’d hit the clubs these people support, to remind them they have a responsibility to get their house in order.

Birmingham City ought to be fined and docked points for Mitchell’s idiocy, says Stan

I’d be looking to deduct six points from Birmingham if I was in charge of the EFL or FA, because that would make a big difference on their season. Then I’d fine them half-a-million pounds to put a dent in their finances.

That sum wouldn’t be the same for every club, because some have deeper pockets than others.

So if, say, a Manchester City fan caused the same sort of trouble, I’d fine them £25million, or a percentage of their profits that would actually make a difference. I’d also throw in an alcohol ban for the entire stadium until the end of the season, essentially to strip away any privileges supporters have.

It might sound draconian, but people need to realise there is now a generation of football fans who don’t remember what it was like to be a football fan in the 1980s.

To be demeaned, treated like dogs and, in some instances, to go to a game and not get to go home.

Collymore’s sliding-scale idea would see Arsenal fined much more than Birmingham over their pitch invader

By stripping away privileges, you get to a situation where others will self-police and those such as Mitchell, or those fans who went on the pitch at Arsenal and Hibernian in the past week, might just think again before misbehaving.

I had my own problems with Birmingham fans a few years back, when six of them started on me in a nightclub.

I was told by the police that two of the doormen involved were part of the Zulu Army and when I’d walked into the club they’d got word to four others that I was there.

Players have a right to feel safe on the pitch and off it, and while clubs can’t protect their players at all times, during matches they certainly can. They don’t think twice about paying £50,000 a week extra to a player in wages, yet they um and ah when it comes to paying similar extra sums for stewards.

The attack on Grealish should serve as a reminder of how ridiculous that is.




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