York City will lodge a complaint following ‘disgraceful’ treatment of fans by police following violent clashes after their defeat at Hartlepool United.
On a weekend where football was overshadowed by violence – with West Brom versus Wolves temporarily suspended and a fan running onto the pitch at Port Vale to hound a referee – there were more clashes following a National League fixture between York City and Hartlepool United.
Footage which surfaced on social media showed the two fanbases brawling in the street before police officers intervened.
But York City have been left dismayed with how their travelling fans were treated by police, with testimonies claiming that some young fans were left ‘in tears’ at the ‘ridiculous overreaction’ from police.
‘Seen some worrying stuff about how the police treated York fans and it’s pretty disgraceful,’ York City owner Matt Uggla posted on X.
Clashes between York City and Hartlepool United fans broke out after a match on Saturday
York City were left furious with what they deemed excessive policing of their travelling fans
Matt Uggla, York City’s owner, informed supporters that he will make a police complaint
Your browser does not support iframes.
‘A dog fully biting someone when all he’s definitely just trying to get through the station.
‘Will sit down Monday and make sure we make a complaint. Poor from the police.’
York City added in their own statement via their official website: ‘York City Football Club are shocked by the footage seen, and are very aware of events that unfortunately occurred, following Saturday afternoon’s fixture against Hartlepool United.
‘We strongly condemn any form of violence, in any setting, from anybody.
‘Further steps are now set to be taken to fully investigate Saturday afternoon, ensuring that the right measures are in place for the future.
‘The Football Club will make no further comment at this stage until it has met with key personnel surrounding yesterday’s events.’
It was a weekend of shame for football, with incidents of fan trouble across the country
One piece of footage saw a stricken fan sat on the pavement bloodied.
In a statement of their own on Monday evening, Cleveland Police said: ‘Eight people were arrested by Cleveland Police after significant violent disorder followed the Hartlepool United FC and York City FC match on Saturday 27th January 2024.
‘It became apparent from the beginning of the event, that there were a minority of people who were intent on causing disorder as officers were faced with confrontational and aggressive behaviour.
‘During the game there were a number of incidents including three flares thrown in the stadium and a coin thrown at the Hartlepool goal keeper.
‘Arrangements had been put in place to keep fans from opposing clubs separated, however these arrangements were not observed by a number of York City fans, some of whom were wearing face coverings.
‘Officers were then faced with a large crowd of York City supporters in Hartlepool town centre who appear to have charged towards Hartlepool United fans in the town; something which would have been extremely intimidating and terrifying for members of the public to see.
‘Cleveland Police Officers then worked with officers from British Transport Police at the train station to ensure the York City fans boarded the train without further disorder.
‘The officers deployed to this policing operation are experienced officers who specialise in football liaison events. Those officers rightly used a number of tactics to prevent further violences occurring, and to protect members of the public from harm.
‘Cleveland Police would welcome any discussion with York City Football Club around Saturday’s events, and how this type of violent behaviour and offending can be prevented in the future, in order to keep the public safe.
‘Officers thank the majority of fans who attended and enjoyed the game in a safe and responsible manner.’
Expanding on the arrests made, they said: ‘A 16-year-old boy, a 20-year-old man and two 21-year-old men, all from York, were arrested for Public Order Offences. All have been bailed pending further enquiries.
‘A 20-year-old man from Norton has been charged with being Drunk Whilst Trying to Enter a Sports Ground.
‘A 18-year-old man from Thirsk has been charged with a Public Order Offence.
‘A 18-year-old man from York has been charged with being Drunk and Disorderly.
‘A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of affray. He has been bailed pending further enquiries.’
The rising number of fan clashes is a worrying trend that will have the FA and policing bodies scrutinising their plans for future high-profile matches.
Speaking following the clashes which caused a 35-minute suspension of play between West Brom and Wolves, a statement by the FA read: ‘The disorder that occurred is completely unacceptable.
‘Safety and security are of the utmost importance and the behaviour of those involved was dangerous and inexcusable.
‘We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities and the appropriate action will be taken.’