Crowd troubles before and after the Blues-Lions league game marred an entertaining 2-2 draw that keeps Gary Rowett’s men’s play-off hopes alive
Image: Andy Shaw/ProSports/REX/Shutterstock)
Six arrests have been made following crowd disturbances during Saturday’s Championship match between Birmingham City and Millwall.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault after a 60-year-old Millwall fan was seriously injured near St Andrew’s Stadium shortly before 3pm when the match started.
The victim, who was with his family, was treated at the scene and taken to hospital. West Midlands Police confirmed five other people were arrested after the game and that “bricks, bottles and objects were used as weapons”.
A BBC report claims around 150 seats inside the stadium were also vandalized during the game. Images and videos of clashes between opposing supporters on the pitch surfaced on social media yesterday.
In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “The level of violence – in which our officers put themselves in the middle to protect people – meant that some of our officers had to wear public order helmets, use shields and fire their batons, while continually warning people to get away.
“We understand how the scene may have frightened people who had nothing to do with the violence. Bricks, bottles and objects were used as weapons in hotspots around Digbeth and other areas between the stadium and New Street station.
“Our Football Police Unit and CID Force detectives have opened a joint investigation. They are working closely with football clubs and supporter groups. Further arrests will take place in the coming weeks, which means that anyone involved should immediately report to the local police station to explain what happened.”
A Millwall spokesman said: “The club are assisting the police and other authorities in their investigation of the disorder involving the two groups of supporters after the end of Saturday’s game. Anyone found guilty of such offenses will receive a ban indefinite number of home and away games.”
Birmingham City have been contacted by Football Mirror .
Millwall boss Gary Rowett, a former Birmingham manager, said he was aware of crowd problems during the game.
He said: “I’m going to be really honest, I could see something, I couldn’t see if it was the two fans or just a group of fans or whatever. I’m sure both clubs will look into it and deal with it.” It’s definitely not something you want to see at the end of a football game, my daughter is away so you don’t want to see it. It’s up to the clubs to see what happened and to have some clarity on that.”
The game saw the Lions come from behind twice to seal a 2-2 draw in an entertaining contest that keeps their hopes of cracking the Championship play-off places alive.
Juninho Bacuna’s first game for the hosts was canceled out by Oliver Burke in the second half. Then a Lyle Taylor penalty appeared to seal the three points for Birmingham only for Benik Afobe to convert his own 96th-minute kick to ensure the spoils were shared. Millwall remain seventh but are now three points behind Sheffield United who sit last in the play-offs with two games remaining.
Rowett added: “What we have is a fabulous desire and character. We ended up with Oliver Burke at right-back, Tyler Burey at left-back and Jake Cooper alone up front. Can -maybe, just because of that, we deserved something out of the game.”