Last Sunday, we experienced ugly scenes on the London Underground as some 40 Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC fans clashed on board a train. The actions of this small minority caused enormous distress and fear amongst rail staff and passengers.
“These were middle-aged men fighting on a busy carriage and their mindless violence was utterly shameful. If they’re prepared to throw punches as a result of team rivalry, what kind of example does this set to younger football fans?
“We’re just days away from the new season and already, we’re having to re-direct our resources to disrupt fights between grown men whose passion for the game has blinded them from any form of civility and respect.
“Since Sunday we have made nine arrests and more will follow but unless we tackle the root causes, we know it will happen again and again.
“In recent months a number of clubs, including Manchester City, have taken an important stance in addressing disrespectful behaviour in their grounds. I would invite both Manchester City and Liverpool to view this footage and take quick and decisive action by immediately banning these men from matches.
“With Premier League matches starting this weekend, we hope that the scenes on the London Underground are not mirrored elsewhere. However, we will have policing plans in place to identify and prevent people from spoiling the experience for everyone else.”