How the supposed Villa vs West Brom ‘violence’ story was made up
According to the Birmingham Mail ‘violence erupted’ outside the Doug Ellis Stand after the Villa versus West Brom game. Yet their story was based on nothing more than a couple of tweets on twitter.
When a Villa fan tweeted: ‘Kicked off outside the Ellis. Police using batons. W***ers nearly hit me and I was only walking minding my own business’, tagging in the Twitter handle of the WM Police.
The WM Police replied to the fan:
‘A minority of fans came together and flares were thrown into the crowd. Two have been arrested on suspicion of Violent Disorder…’
The Birmingham Mail journalist asked the Villa fan via twitter, if he had any photos, which he hadn’t. So with just a couple of tweets as evidence, the Birmingham Mail couldn’t resist amping it up a little, opening their report with:
‘Violence erupted as rival fans squared up after the drawn local derby between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.’
MOMS carried out its own research. We already had a photo of the smoke bomb (or what was left of it) and also got the full story from a Villa supporter on the front line.
The situation started with a standard round of banter with Villa fans goading their rivals by chanting ‘Wolves are s***, but they’re better than you!’ to the Albion fans outside the Doug Ellis Away section.
“A few Albion retaliated, so some Villa went over to confront them, a Albion punched a Villa fan and that’s when it went off.”
The trouble only lasted a few minutes.
“One Villa and one Albion fan were arrested, but it wasn’t anything major,” says the Villan. “The police did use batons but only to break us up, after that, there was a stand-off between us and the police, with us singing.”
As the police separated both sets of fans, that’s when a claret smoke bomb was thrown, and not a flare or fireworks as the police and newspaper suggested.
“There was a few of us, but only about six of us that went for it, so nothing big really,” concluded the Villa fan.
With it being a local derby, when both sets of fans are let out at the same time, such incidents are to be expected. Yet it’s not helpful to anyone when the media after lazy reporting, insists in spinning it out of proportion.
Since this story was published, a police officer involved in the incident contacted MOMS and stated that this is a truthful account of the events. It was a case of people getting excited rather than any hooligan element.
Hopefully, most Villa supporters stay out of trouble, but if you’re the sort of supporter than might end up on the front line, it’s worth reading the following, just in case : Supporter’s Rights – Arrests, Bans, Police Always good to have the knowledge, if things ever got out of hand.