Croydon Council has rubbished claims it is responsible for the alleged overzealous stewarding in recent Crystal Palace home games.
The Holmesdale Fanatics, who are the more vociferous section of the club’s support, held up a banner aimed at the council during Palace’s 1-0 win against Hull.
It read: “Six stabbings in ten days yet time wasted harassing the Palace support. Croydon council get your priorities right.”
Fans are upset because they believe Croydon Council asked the club to draft in extra stewards to blocks in the lower tier of the Holmesdale Stand.
And the supporters have taken to message boards to air their displeasure.
One fan wrote on the Holmesdale Fanatics site: “There have been no problems in that block for a long time and it is self polices perfectly and a good relationship has been struck up with the other steward.
“All of a sudden to bring in night club bouncer style stewards with strict ticket checks it is the council creating problems that were not there.”
On another messageboard, the BBS, co-chairman Stephen Browett said staff could have employed a little more tact but it was important to keep gangways clear.
He said: “We must adhere strictly to safety guidelines on keeping gangways clear and not permitting more than one person per seat. Safety must come first.
“The stadium manager will, however, investigate all complaints and do his utmost to ensure that all stewards behave in a professional and courteous manner.”
And a Croydon Council spokesman says stewarding decisions are not its responsibility.
He said: “The safety advisory group, which also includes the club, its supporter, the police and ambulance service made the suggestion for extra stewards following safety concerns, but it was the club’s responsibility to decide on the course of action to take to protect fans.
“The stewards are employed by the club and are not police officers, therefore there would have been no impact on policing priorities.”
See more pictures from last night's match at Selhurst Park.
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