There was a short delay in the game restarting towards the end of the 90 minutes on Saturday due to three people attempting to enter the playing area. They were stopped from getting onto the pitch by stewards. Two of them did not co-operate and took some time to be restrained and removed.
We have a number of eye witness statements, as well as video evidence, and are conducting our own investigation. We will act to protect the club and everyone working at the club from this behaviour. Where there are possible criminal offences, we will hand over evidence to the police to review.
We have also made a number of policy decisions to further protect the club. These include:
We will suspend the sale of alcohol in the stands during the game as a minimum and consider an outright ban. Starkies Bar will remain open before and after games, and the 1885 Suite will operate as usual for those ticket holders. We will release more information on this once a decision has been made.
We will enforce stricter stewarding to prevent any potential encroachment of the pitch, including stopping anyone standing near the pitch during the game.
- We will ask players to be mindful where they celebrate goals and avoid areas where people are congregating.
We know people have historically congregated in the corner of the South and West (Manchester Road End) Stands at the end of games for decades, as they have looked for a quick exit from the ground. Nowadays matches last for an additional five or ten minutes and it’s hard to know when the final whistle will be. Please stay in your seats until the final whistle where you can use any of three exits to leave the South Stand. These are behind the the Manchester Road End, in front of the Manchester Road End or through the Cemetery End. There is no need for anyone to stand before the final whistle other than to leave the stadium or go to the lavatory.
We all recognise that an incredibly small percentage of Bury supporters are responsible for the problems we’ve faced in recent weeks, and it is bitterly disappointing that two or three people in a crowd of well over 3,000 can ruin the enjoyment of football for us all. However, we have to act now in the belief that we can then return to a more relaxed atmosphere in the future. We are concerned that the consumption of excessive alcohol is an enabler to anti-social behaviour.
Today we should be talking about football, not crowd behaviour, but we will continue to punish and prevent anti-social behaviour where we find it.