Around 150 Crystal Palace fans were denied entry to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium last night (Tuesday) after crowd trouble marred the first Premier League meeting between the two football clubs.
Brighton confirmed in a statement released shortly after the teams played out a 0-0 draw that a number of its stewards were left with minor injuries following disorder among Palace supporters before the game, while another steward was hospitalised.
The statement also revealed that a number of Palace fans travelled to the game without tickets, with some aiming to force their way into the stadium at 7:48pm, shortly after the match kicked off at 7:45.
As a result, officials at Brighton and Sussex Police made the decision to close the away turnstiles at 7:51pm, meaning around 150 Palace fans, some of who had tickets, were not able to gain entry and watch the match. Supporters were then escorted back to the local train station and onto Brighton Station, before being put on a train back to London.
Brighton will now share CCTV images with Sussex Police, the Metropolitan Police and Crystal Palace to identify the individuals involved in the disorder. Fans who held genuine tickets for the match are able to contact the Palace ticket office to access information about a refund.
However, despite the disorder, Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber paid tribute to the majority of fans from both teams who behaved well before, during and after the game.
“Firstly, we hope the two stewards hospitalised in the disorder have not suffered serious injuries.
“The disorder was caused by a minority of individuals who attempted to gain entry to the stadium without tickets.
“Thanks to the swift action of the club’s stewarding team, supported by Sussex Police, we avoided further, major disorder – and while some genuine fans were left extremely disappointed and unable to get into the stadium, the correct decisions were made.
“I’d like to thank the majority of fans of both clubs for their good behaviour and patience in complying with the instructions of our stewards and police.”