We have been instructed by the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) to challenge the decision of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to reduce the allocation of tickets for away fans attending the Chelsea FC v Manchester United FC Premier League match on 22 October 2022 from 2,994 to 2,370. Tickets had already been sold and so over 600 fans have now been prevented from attending.
The Council made their decision at an emergency meeting of the Safety Advisory Group on 7 October in which the Metropolitan Police Service insisted that the fixture was high risk because of the 5.30pm kick off and therefore that there had to be a reduction of the away allocation or they would not police the match. Despite the MPS’ admission that a 4.45pm kick off would represent a medium risk (and therefore allow a full allocation), and Manchester United’s extensive offer of additional stewarding, ticket collection points and other mitigation, the MPS explained that their risk modelling did not allow for consideration of those factors and therefore the assessment of high risk would not be changed.
On behalf of MUST we have challenged the Council’s decision to issue a Special Safety Certificate with a reduced allocation on the basis that the decision irrationally failed to take into account that the MPS risk modelling was flawed, that MUFC had offered significant risk reduction mitigation, and that the marginally later kick off made little practical difference to the risk assessment given the history of this fixture.
The Letter before Action sent to the Council can be found here. Press coverage can be found here and here.
All media enquiries should be directed to Duncan Drasdo, the CEO of MUST, at firstname.lastname@example.org. ITN Solicitors will not be making further comment.
Lochlinn Parker, our Head of Civil Liberties, and Jude Bunting KC of Doughty Street Chambers, have been instructed by MUST.
ITN’s Civil Liberties department undertakes a wide variety of work on the policing of football. If you have an issue you would like to discuss, please contact us here.