The sports blog: Enough with the pitch invasions

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RIGHT, first of all this isn’t just sour grapes after Dons lost to Posh. I’ve actually been thinking about this for a long time now. So here we go - STOP INVADING FOOTBALL PITCHES!

I’ve lost count of the amount of times my stomach has completely sunk at the sight of one or two morons leaping over advertising hoardings and onto the pitch. Because you know that in about five seconds another 5,000 misguided fools are going to follow them like lemmings over a cliff.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love fans showing passion for their team. But you can do it without illegally invading the pitch and running around with your hands flailing in the air. Or worse still, you might be one of those nutters who decide to jump all over players as if they invited you to.

Although I’m making light of it all, there’s clearly a serious point to be made here. We all remember Peter Enckelman for suffering the indignity of having some Birmingham City lunatic scream in his face, and it was only a couple of months ago that a Stevenage player was attacked - albeit there was more to that and the offender is now rightly serving jail time.

Posh fans were incredible on Thursday night. They have a tight little ground which really holds the atmosphere in, and they were rocking the place all night. But I can’t help but feel their pitch invasion spoilt the celebrations slightly. OK it made for a good few pictures afterwards, but I’m sure the players didn’t appreciate being man-handled, and the awkward position it left their Dons counterparts in was also pretty shameful.

Fortunately the nature of it was just genuine excitement, but the precedents have been set and we’ve seen opposing fans clash in similar circumstances before. Ipswich and Leeds fans at Elland Road springs to mind.

I don’t want to sound like a kill-joy, but seriously, you can celebrate a big win with your players from behind the hoardings. The other thing is Posh fans haven’t actually won anything yet so their celebrations were a little bit premature.

In fact forget it, there’s nothing funnier than seeing some idiot fan running onto the pitch only to see their team’s goal was actually disallowed, or that the full time whistle hasn’t actually been blown. You carry on then.

Maybe Brian Clough got it right. Remember when Nottingham Forest fans ran onto the pitch at the City Ground at the full time whistle? I’m not advocating the manager starting to punch his own fans, but a season-long ban will soon sort you out!