Palace fans protest against harassment from Croydon Council

Palace fans banner

Crystal Palace season ticket-holders in the Holmesdale end at Selhurst Park launched a protest against Croydon Council during the vital Premier League relegation match against Hull City last night.

A large section of fans raised banners that stated:

6 STABBINGS IN 10 DAYS

YET TIME WASTED HARASSING THE PALACE SUPPORT

CROYDON COUNCIL GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT

The Palace bulletin boards were alive with discussion of the banner overnight, with several angry posters referencing Tony Pearson, the Tory councillor in New Addington who was involved in a controversial incident with home fans when he was a part-time steward at Selhurst Park.

What Crystal Palace fans think of their former senior steward Tony Pearson, the Tory councillor in New Addington

What Crystal Palace fans think of their former senior steward Tony Pearson, the Tory councillor in New Addington

Pearson stopped working as a steward soon after the incident, though many fans were unhappy that he was never subjected to any disciplinary, or police, action as a consequence of what they saw as his heavy-handed approach to supporters, which included allegations that he had ripped people’s clothes and destroyed one fan’s smart phone that they had been using to video the incident.

Pearson has since been appointed by the Conservative-controlled council to the Community Safety Partnership and the Community Police Consultative Group. Oh, the unintended irony.

“Seems like Croydon Council just doesn’t like SE25, or at least any event that happens in it,” one poster commented, referring to the recent attempts by Croydon Council to prevent the South Norwood Tourist Board from staging its re-naming event at what it wants called Lake Conan Doyle this Saturday.

Another poster said, “Croydon Council is run by the sort of people that even UKIP would have problems accepting as candidates. No surprise that some of them find it difficult to accept that Palace is (a) a good thing for the image of Croydon nationally and (b) does a lot of great work in the community.”

The reason for the banners last night appears to be a recent meeting between the club and the council over issues surrounding some fans opting to stand during games – an on-going issue at grounds around the country.

Palace’s co-chairman, Steve Parish, had issued this statement on the matter: “The council are putting pressure on us to keep the aisles clear between blocks A/B, B/C and C/D. They also want us checking that the seating areas are not overcrowded (more people than seats).

“This is the result of an SAG (Safety Advisory Group) meeting on Thursday last week. The club agreed to put extra stewards in these areas checking tickets and keeping the aisles clear. They seemed happy with that and were at the game yesterday monitoring the area.”

According to one season ticket-holder in the Holmesdale who contacted Inside Croydon, “That all seems perfectly fair and sensible to me although it appears that the staff employed could have used a little more tact.”

Meanwhile, though, Parish has promised that he will investigate all complaints and do his utmost to ensure that all stewards behave in a professional and courteous manner.

So there’s no chance of Pearson making a comeback at Selhurst Park in a hi-viz jacket any time soon, then.

  • Oh… nearly forgot. Palace won the game, 1-0, to move to 14th in the Premier League table, a full five points clear of the drop zone.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in Crime, Croydon Council, Crystal Palace FC, Football, New Addington, Policing, Selhurst, Sport, Tony Pearson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Palace fans protest against harassment from Croydon Council

  1. The chairmen are culpable. 2 years ago they let this little Hitler off. Now, even though it is the council making this happen, the chairmen have no interest in making any effort to defend their own fans or using common sense.

    They might be fans themselves, but what they want is for us to become Fulham or something like that. If they had sympathy for common fans, they wouldn’t be raising ticket prices after a year in which we made a profit (that was even before getting the £120m premier league money). Capitalist bastards. They also refuse financial support to the women’s team.

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