The alleged soccer hooligan accused of hitting an A-League goalkeeper in the head with a metal bucket has presented himself to police, as investigators release more images of spectators they would like to speak to following Saturday’s shocking pitch invasion.
He’s one of three men charged a day after police released photos of eight soccer fans as part of their investigation into how the Melbourne A-League derby descended into forcing play to be abandoned.
Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered from concussion and had to be taken to hospital to get stitches after rival Victory fans stormed the pitch and struck him with a metal bucket during Saturday night’s clash at AAMI Park.
City were just 20 minutes into the match against Melbourne Victory when 150 spectators rushed onto the field.
Referee Alex King left the pitch with a sore head after he was also hit by the metal bucket.
A television cameraman and two security guards were also injured in what’s described as A-League’s darkest night in the competition’s 17-year history.
Three men who have since come forward have all been charged in relation to the alleged assault on Glover, who broke his silence on Monday.
One man pictured wearing a navy hat and holding a metal bucket contacted police on Monday after his photo went viral.
A man allegedly seen with a metal bucket moment before a goalkeeper was assaulted contacted police on Monday after his photo went viral
Police have released images of more fans they would like to speak to, including this balaclava-clad spectator
Police say at least 50 flares were thrown from the stands at AAMI Park on Saturday. Pictured is one of the new photos released by Victoria Police on Monday
The hunt has continued for the soccer thug who threw a metal bin at the head of a goalkeeper after fans rushed onto the field during the Melbourne A-League derby
The 23-year-old Craigieburn man has been charged with a string of offences, including violent disorder, discharge missile, intent to cause injury, recklessly cause injury, unlawful assault, entry to sporting competition space, disrupting a match, public nuisance and riotous behaviour.
A 19-year-old Meadow Heights man was also charged in relation to a separate alleged assault on Glover, as well as an alleged assault on a security guard.
He was charged with violent disorder, discharge missile, three counts of unlawful assault, entry to competition space, disrupting a match, public nuisance, riotous behaviour, discharge and possess flare.
An 18-year-old Alphington man was charged in relation to allegedly assaulting Glover as well as criminal damage caused to the venue.
He was charged with violent disorder, criminal damage, unlawful assault, entry to competition space, disrupting a match, public nuisance and riotous behaviour.
All men were granted bail to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 27.
Police also released fresh images of fans they would like to speak to, along with more details of the extensive damage caused.
Police said at least 50 flares were lit within the stands with at least three were thrown onto the field.
Around $120,000 worth of damage was caused to the venue.
‘Police are continuing to trawl through detailed vision of the incidents, and those involved are strongly urged to make themselves known to police immediately,’ a statement read.
Police hope to speak to this fan about what he witnessed on at AAMI Park on Saturday night
Police want to speak to this fan seen engaging with Victory player Leigh Broxham on the pitch after the Melbourne A-league derby descended into chaos
Police believe this male (pictured) can assist with inquiries in relation to damage at AAMI Park
Sporting a bandage over the cut he sustained, Glover broke his silence about the incident as he arrived for training on Monday.
It’s unclear when Glover will take to the field again.
‘The incident is disappointing for Australian football itself,’ he told Nine News.
‘The Socceroos were unbelievable and (we were) hopefully riding the wave of that, but a small minority kind of ruins it.’
A television cameraman was also injured in what’s described as A-League’s darkest night in the competition’s 17-year history.
He was struck on his head by a flare which caused bruising and burnt clothing.
Two security guards were also injured while bottles were allegedly thrown at the Public Order Response Team who responded to the incident.
Police hope to speak to these two men spotted at the Melbourne A-League derby
Acting superintendent Jason Goddard condemned the ‘shocking, disgraceful and un-Australian’ behaviour and expects police to be ‘knocking on doors very soon’.
‘What we saw last night from those who chose to invade the pitch was shocking, disgraceful and lacked total respect for the game of football,’ Supt Goddard said.
‘I’m a lover of the game, and I actually feel sad about what I saw play out on the pitch last night.
‘I was at the game and I’ve watched the vision of what happened a number of times and see the behaviour as disgusting.
‘Detectives from our North West Metro Regional Crime Squad are working hard and I have no doubt we’ll be knocking on a few doors soon.’
Victoria Police has set up Operation Astute, a taskforce of detectives who will investigate a string of incidents that took place.
Operation Astute officers are working closely with Football Australia, A-League officials and both clubs.
‘Police are continuing to trawl through vision of the incidents to identify those involved,’ a statement read.
‘Investigators from Operation Astute are also working with Football Australia, A-League officials and the clubs.
Around 150 spectators allegedly invaded the pitch 21 minutes into the game. Police would like to speak to this man
Police are keen to speak these two men as investigators continue to trawl through vision
Police release more photos of men they wish to speak to as investigations ramp up
Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover was struck by the object filled with sand after it was flung by a spectator at AAMI Park, in Melbourne, on Saturday
Tom Glover broke his silence as he arrived at Melbourne City training on Monday
Glover’s team were just 20 minutes into the match against Melbourne Victory when 150 spectators rushed onto the field, forcing the match to be called off
The A-League derby between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory was forced to be abandoned after a mass pitch invasion. Pictured is a fan police hope to speak to
Police will investigate a number of incidents, including the throwing of flares, assaults, criminal damage and invading the field of play. Police hope this Victory fan can help with their inquiries (pictured is a man police say may be able to assist with their inquiries)
Anyone who witnessed the incidents, has information or captured phone vision is urged to contact police immediately.
Offenders charged can expect court action.
On top of being banned from future A-league games, they face the possibility of being banned from other sports, including the AFL, NRL and NBL.
As Australian soccer reels from the astonishing scenes at the A-League derby on Saturday, Melbourne Victory boss Caroline Carnegie has admitted the club is ‘devastated’ as they look to distance themselves from the fans involved.
The lawyer, who has been the managing director at the club since 2015, was at a loss to explain the latest example of poor behaviour from Victory fans when addressing the media on Sunday.
One man came forward to speak with police hours after this image was publicly released on Sunday night
Officers hope this man (pictured) can assist with inquiries regarding a flare allegedly thrown at a television camera
Melbourne Victory has distanced itself from the fans who invaded the pitch and caused chaos on Saturday night. Pictured is one of the eight men police would like to speak to
Acting superintendent Jason Goddard expects police to be ‘knocking on doors very soon’. Pictured is a man police believe can assist with their inquiries
‘It is all pretty raw. We are pretty devastated at Melbourne Victory at the moment,’ Carnegie said as she addressed reporters on Sunday morning.
‘I also want to make it very clear that in no way, shape or form does Melbourne Victory advocate for what happened last night – in fact, we condemn it – and there is no possible excuse for players, cameramen, referees coming to work and not being safe.
‘There is no place at our club, no place in the game, and no place in the league for that sort of behaviour.
‘What they’ve done is they’ve hurt the club, the sport and the league, and hurt all the good work that came off the back of the Socceroos’ (World Cup) campaign, and we don’t want that around,’ said Carnegie.
The Victory fanbase have unfortunately developed an unwanted reputation of poor behaviour; though to be fair as usual it is the small minority ruining it for the behaved majority.
The club was given a $5000 fine last season for horrific homophobic abuse from fans of gay Adelaide United star Josh Cavallo, while in 2016 they had a suspended three-point deduction and $50,000 fine imposed for repeated examples of flares and bottles thrown onto the field.
Another City goalkeeper, this time A-League Women’s shotstopper Tegan Micah, copped the wrath of Victory fans when she had glass bottles and vile abuse thrown at her last year.
When asked why the myriad of flare and bottle-throwing incidents continue to occur, alongside other examples at National Premier League (NPL) level, Carnegie was at a loss.
Pictured is one of the eight fans at Saturday night’s match police are keen to speak to
Fans storm onto the pitch from the Melbourne Victory supporters area during Saturday night’s derby at AAMI Park
Melbourne Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie addressed the media on Sunday morning and said everyone at the club was shocked and saddened by the events at the derby
Many flares were let off during the game and fans continued to throw and let them off as they took to the field
‘It is a question I would love to be able to answer. I’m disgraced and appalled at what happened last night,’ she said.
‘We’ve (Melbourne Victory) tried to work with our fans in a number of different ways to make sure that they can be here to support the club and do it in the right way.
‘(But) I think last night shows us that we’ve come to a point in time where what we’ve been doing hasn’t been as successful as we would like and we just can’t condone what has gone on.’
Furious with the A-League’s decision to send the next three grand finals to Sydney, both sets of fans were planning to stage a mass walkout on the 20th minute to vent their discontent with the decision.
It originally only expected the club would make a peaceful protest at the A-League’s decision to sell the grand final to Sydney for three years
They had earlier chanted ‘f*** the APL’ while unfurling banners pre-game and during the match, and throwing flares onto the playing arena.
But the situation escalated when a flare from the Victory active area hit the cameraman, then exploded when Glover picked up another flare off the ground and threw it back into the stands.
Fans, from the Victory area, then stormed onto the pitch and Glover and referee Alex King were both struck by the metal bucket, which is filled with sand and used to dispose of flares.
Glover was left with a cut head, requiring stitches, and a concussion, while King was also injured in the skirmish. A cameraman had already been injured by one of the many flares that had been let off.
Carnegie admitted perhaps it was a little ‘silly’ Glover threw the flare back into the crowd, but said the main issue was those that stormed the field.
Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover picks up a flare that had been thrown onto the pitch. What followed has been described as ‘Australian football’s darkest day’
‘I think it would be better if we weren’t throwing flares onto the pitch in the first place and that (Glover being hit) wouldn’t have occurred,’ she said.
‘Maybe it was a little bit silly on Tom’s behalf (throwing the flare back), but there is no defending what happened last night in any way, shape or form.
‘I think without condoning what happened in relation to flares in the first place, the biggest issue we have is jumping on the pitch and having a player who got hurt, and a cameraman who got hurt, and a referee who got hurt who have a right to turn up and do their job without any fear,’ said Carnegie.
They were unbelievable scenes at AAMI Park.
It was hard to digest what was happening at a major Australian sporting match, and Carnegie admitted it wasn’t something the club, or even police, anticipated despite the fan group’s reputation for insolence.
The game was suspended after Victory fans stormed the pitch and forced players and match officials to switftly retreat to the dressing rooms as hooligans climbed the goal posts
‘Our understanding of what would happen last night was that all fans, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City … would be leaving the stadium at the 20-minute mark,’ she said, something other A-League fans have done this round in protest at the league’s grand final decision.
‘That’s the preparations that were in play, to be ready to make sure that they left in an orderly manner. No one expected what happened last night.
‘We’ll work with Victoria Police first, there’s obviously a police investigation, then we’ll work with Football Australia in relation to what happens as a result,’ said Carnegie.
For their part, many Victory fans condemned the disgraceful actions of those who stormed the field.
The main supporter group – Original Style Melbourne – said in a statement they had merely wanted to walk out in protest after 20 minutes and were ‘sad, angry and frustrated’ at what transpired.
Police officers stand in front of Victory supporters after they pitch was cleared. Seen clearly in front of them is the destroyed LED advertising signage which the fans stormed over
‘Our protest yesterday was intended to unite all fans. A vital element of the campaign against the APL decision, was that the walkout and protest remained peaceful, so as not to take away and distract from our argument,’ the group said in a statement.
‘OSM leadership fully understand the genuine sadness, anger and frustration at what happened last night. The events which transpired, although uncontrollable, happened under our watch, and we take full responsibility for that.
‘Therefore, we apologise to the Victory fan base, players, and staff who have constantly backed us. Football fans in this country remaining united and peaceful in their protest, was, and still is, the only path forward,’ the fan group’s statement read.
The club will face big sanctions, and many fans may also face the long arm of the law.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson confirmed Victory would be receiving a Show Cause notice, but they wouldn’t comment further on what the possible punishments would be while the police investigation was still ongoing.
Johnson also said the club’s prior record of poor crowd behaviour would be taken into account.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson confirmed on Sunday that Victory will be facing sanctions as a result of Saturday night’s Melbourne derby
‘A show-cause process will be opened with Melbourne Victory and they will be receiving a show-cause notice as soon as possible,’ he said in a press conference on Sunday morning.
‘There have been other occasions, we know that, and they will be an aggravating factor as we work through the show-cause process. There’s no other suspended disciplinary action that I’m aware of.
‘But what I will say is we’ll be working through that today and we’ll be moving forward as quickly and swiftly as possible.’
Melbourne City could also be served with a show cause notice.