If you used to the train to get away from the Hawthorns after Villa’s 2-2 draw there back in December, you’d have probably got caught up in a bit of a crush and ruckus at the train station.
One of the issues was a special train that would have helped to clear around 300 fans straight away, left without picking anybody up. It was apparently human error (no explanation given), which obviously backed up Villa fans and triggered the congestion at the station.
Being in the eyeliner of home fans didn’t help the situation, while travelling supporters waited.
The error of the train leaving was eventually rectified when it was called back to the platform.
But still there was crushing and genera unpleasaness that supporters shouldn’t have to suffer after watching a game of football.
WM Police have since been staggering away fans going to the train station from the Hawthorns by holding groups in the carpark. They hope that this will alleviate the problem in the future.
In principle, MOMS is against the idea of holding Villa supporters behind after games at St Andrews for lengthy periods. Last season the plan had been to keep fans behind for 30 minutes, in the hope that home fans would be cleared away from outside of St Andrews.
Instead Villa fans were kept in for a full 90 minutes after the game.
I’m sorry, but to pay good money to then be penned in against your will, in terms of civil liberties and personal freedom is just not on.
While the layout of St Andrews and the surrounding access roads into the city centre make it tricky to police, a solution must be found.
The good news is the WMP are currently in the process of actioning a potential solution that will mean there will be no holdback for Villa’s visiting fans.
More news to come, but hopefully it’s workable and it will be green lit.
Lower Reading Allocation
A few Villa supporters have got in touch asking why there has been a drastically reduced allocation for the Reading game. The sold out allocation of 2,239 is just 56% of the potential previous allocation of 4000 allocation.
Away fans had been housed in the South Stand behind the goal at the Madejski Stadium, but most clubs hadn’t been taking up their entire allocations, so the Royals felt such prime real estate would be better served by their own fans forming a home section there.
The section includes what is meant to be a growing singing section/atmosphere group.
As well as trying to boost the home atmosphere, the idea is to also take away the advantage to bigger supported away teams of having a full stand of fans behind the goal.