Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Stewards bottle it?

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Can anyone tell me what the point of matchday stewards is? Apart from fulfilling the Club?s legal responsibilities over crowd safety and picking up a wage for standing around with a nice high-viz jacket on, I fail to see the point.

Not once in all the years I?ve been going to Goodison have I seen them intervene to stop a row getting out of hand. I?ve also heard plenty of player abuse that went well beyond humour and into the realms of racism and the homophobic, but never once seen the perpetrator admonished or evicted.

The ban on carrying plastic bottles into the stands in the wake of the recent derby game shenanigans is a case in point for me. There were plenty of stewards around, as can be seen from the still photos, so why didn?t they get a grip? They don?t have to manhandle the individuals, as I can understand the possibility these days of a supporter filing an assault charge; but, why not just take a note of their seat number and take a photograph of the idiots so that the Club can follow up later? The very act of so doing would be a deterrent.

Instead of which, we now have a ban on bottles being taken into the stands. (Not sure why they haven?t also banned loose change given there was also coin throwing going on.) That?ll do a lot for pre-match sales?

I would agree that, if the numpties who threw the bottles and coins hadn?t done so, this would not be an issue; but a blanket reaction by the Club hurts everyone (especially those with kids to keep amused). A review by the Club of how the crowd can be more actively managed during a game, with stewards actually doing a bit more to earn their wages, would be far more appropriate.
Steve Guy, Harrogate     Posted 25/10/2011 at 09:54:01

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Mike Gwyer
1   Posted 25/10/2011 at 15:55:34

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Steve.

Do you follow EFC to away games? Stewards at places like OT, White Hart Lane and Arsenal's gaff are, being polite, fucking twats - Everton fans were being ejected at OT for standing up (no joke).

Chris Butler
2   Posted 25/10/2011 at 16:10:27

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I disagree with the bottle ban, I think it's totally wrong to punish the majority for the actions of a minority. Are Liverpool fans banned from the upper Anfield Road End stand for throwing stuff on away fans? The simple answer is no. In the 80s, fans threw snooker balls, darts and various other objects at each other.

Andy Carroll delibrately provoked Everton fans as did Suarez. Bellamy didn't exactly rush to take the corner which didn't help things. Everton stewards generally are some of the best in the country, for the exact reason you are moaning about them. Everton stewards are not overzealous, they turn a blind eye to what fans are up to as long as they're not being violent. Unless you're being a complete and utter nuisance they will largely leave you alone unlike at grounds like Spurs and Chelsea.

I've never had a problem with the stewards at Goodsion they're generally very helpful. Yes they turn a blind eye to people smoking weed and drinking beer at their seats but most fans do't have a problem with that. Their not like the jobsworth Asian stewards you get at other grounds who throw people out for the slightest of things.

I have heard numerous racist and homophobic jibes shouted or chanted without the stewards taking any notice, but that's because most of the Everton fans around them laughed along with them. The stewards are meant to keep the fans safe and thats what they always do at GP in my experience.
Tony J Williams
3   Posted 25/10/2011 at 16:30:32

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It's all Hibbert's fault
Steve Guy
4   Posted 25/10/2011 at 16:32:27

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Mike, I don't go many away games, but I've heard the stories, which makes what our stewards don't do (when they have every justification) all the more perplexing and frustrating.

Eugene Ruane
5   Posted 25/10/2011 at 16:31:51

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It would have been Hibbert's fault if he'd scored.

"All stewards to the visitors enclosure - full scale riot in progress"

By the way I saw a feller I know (wouldn't call him a mate but we played for the same Sunday side) absolutely snot a steward at White Hart Lane about 10 years ago (maybe more). It was half-time and their stewards were acting like pricks. The feller I know really cracked this steward - spark out. Cue mini-riot. He got away with it as well.

(I mention that only in case anyone has been on the end of rough justice from stewards there)
Dave Wilson
6   Posted 25/10/2011 at 19:12:27

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IMO Evertonians have often struggled to see the line that divides humour and abuse.

At Stamford Bridge last week Phil Neville spent a good ten minutes early in the second half warming up just in front of the Evertonians, right down by the corner flag.
Despite the enthusiasm he was putting into his warm up, Moyes was ignoring him and he started to respond to a bit of banter with the fans, he even mocked himself by joining in with the "Phil Neville superstar" song.

We had really crap seats right down in the front row so he was literally a few feet away. The fella sitting behind me shouted to him "Eh Phil, get down there and tell that clueless Ginger fucker we are gettting twatted and he IS allowed to try something else" "Tell him he can make THREE changes"
As Neville turned to look at the bench the fella shouted, "Oh by the way Phil, ffs tell him not to make you one of them"

Abuse or Humour ?

The stewart the other side of the wall couldn't do anything if it was abuse, he was pissing himself.
Dean Adams
7   Posted 25/10/2011 at 20:17:35

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I would say that the stewards at Goodison are like many others around the country, that is total muppets.
I was told to leave the ground after a match even though they could see that we were just taking some photos of the kids at Goodison to show thier mates. We were evicted as we were apparently causing a danger to the ground staff. What a joke.
Martin Handley
8   Posted 25/10/2011 at 20:46:41

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Dean a mate of mine is a steward. At the QPR game a young lady in the away was heavily pregnant, the tossers around her were refusing to let the medics get to here, instead they thought it'd be funny to 'twat a scouse cunt' my mate and his oppo went in to try and help the medics, he ended up getting dragged down and punched, kicked and generally battered.

The Police didn't react for a good 90 seconds, his nose and eye brow required stitches and he was off work for a week. Not ALL stewards are muppets, like not everybody will think you a good guy.
Jamie Sweet
9   Posted 25/10/2011 at 20:58:37

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Dave #5 Definitely too funny to be counted as abuse!
Dave Lynch
10   Posted 26/10/2011 at 09:11:09

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Whinging red twats again. Next to fuck all was made of it when Neville was spat at and slapped at their gaffe.
Same when they threw mobiles and coins at Rooney.
Danny Broderick
11   Posted 26/10/2011 at 11:05:32

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The only thing I would say Steve is that there is no need for the stewards to take pictures of the individuals. The cameras in the stadium could literally zoom right in on these people.
Hopefully some of these idiots will be banned by the club. I agree the blanket ban is a bit over the top, but likewise the Liverpool players being showered with coins/bottles etc. for having the audacity to take a corner was embarrassing. It would be much better if they banned the idiots instead of banning plastic bottles.
David Mathieson
12   Posted 26/10/2011 at 12:45:10

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I read an article on bottles being banned from the seating area in Goodison Park because of the derby. Coins were thrown as well I wonder what will be next.. no-one allowed coins at all in the seating area, same principle isn?t it?

Personally I think the decision is a disgrace even more so than the people who were throwing the items in the first place.

OP #
"I?ve also heard plenty of player abuse that went well beyond humour and into the realms of racism and the homophobic, but never once seen the perpetrator admonished or evicted"

Personally I believe in freedom of speech in whatever form. It doesn?t mean I agree with everything people say but everyone should definitely be allowed to say what they want. People who say they believe in freedom of speech then come out with lines like ?but you cannot say that? are below contempt. It is this sort of thing which led to an Evertonian being banned from Goodison for calling Saha a ?Lazy French Bastard? Racial slur or not? I dread to think what would have happened if Saha was Mexican like the Richard Hammond Top Gear dispute.

I?m assuming you don?t believe in freedom of speech.
Steve Guy
13   Posted 26/10/2011 at 13:30:48

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David #12. Well done for completely missing the point of my mail i.e. that the stewards should have done more to sort the problem out at the time and are generally useless (albeit fair doo's to the guy who waded in to protect a pregnant woman) with the result that we now have a stadium wide ban because of the actions of a few idiots.

On the assumption that this site isn't meant for a debate on individual ethics and their rights to freedom of speech, I shan't be giving you a full argument on your latter points. However, it's a fine line you draw in implying that it is acceptable to introduce a player's nationality (not race, to be pedantic) into some matchday verbal abuse. If he's a "useless bastard", where he is from doesn't enter into it, so why state his nationality unless you are making it an element of the abusive comment ?
David Mathieson
14   Posted 26/10/2011 at 14:46:38

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?David #12. Well done for completely missing the point of my mail i.e. that the stewards should have done more to sort the problem out at the time and are generally useless?

I got your post but glossed over most of the null points however I will elaborate: I?m not so sure what more you think the stewards could have done on derby day or more to the point in general? Your dissatisfaction with how the incident was handled should really be aimed at Merseyside Police.

The only way stewards can act is after an offence has been committed(same as Police) and if the law has been broken it is not their job to remove or arrest the offenders the Police should have been all over the incident on derby day.

It is Clear to all the stewards are active. I have seen them remove people for smoking in the toilets also there was the Saha incident which was brought to the attention of the Police.

Talking about missing points; my point about free speech is in the context of Everton ie the Saha incident, so fully within the parameters usually set for the site; Everton related content.

?nationality (not race, to be pedantic)? Slow on the uptake here, to be ?pedantic? to slur a nation or people of said nation is indeed a racial slur ie a nationality is a race.

Just to answer your question: If you are French in a foreign country you are referred to as the French guy, way it goes.
Alex Kociuba
15   Posted 26/10/2011 at 15:26:05

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David Mathieson, have you just answered yourself? (12 & 14)
David Mathieson
16   Posted 26/10/2011 at 15:49:05

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Alex I think it is clear I answered Steve?s question at the end of post 13?
The only questions I have asked in posts (12 & 14) is:

1. Same principle isn?t it?
2. Racial slur or not?
3. I?m not so sure what more you think the stewards could have done on derby day or more to the point in general?

Let?s have a look:
1. No (rhetorical question);
2. No;
3. No;

Therefore... NO.
Steve Guy
17   Posted 26/10/2011 at 15:55:10

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David, you have descended into pseudo intellectual claptrap, so I shall be leaving it there.
David Mathieson
18   Posted 26/10/2011 at 16:05:23

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Compelling argument you have Steve... based on " "
Jimmy Kelly
19   Posted 26/10/2011 at 16:20:57

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David, I believe Alex may have been referring to question 2 on your list and your penultimate paragraph.

I would say that was a 'yes'.
David Mathieson
20   Posted 26/10/2011 at 16:45:18

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My penultimate paragraph highlights that nationality and race are essentially categorised as the same; simple Venn diagram. It includes a rough guide to what a racial slur could or would be.

I have not answered if ?Lazy French Bastard? is a racial slur or not; to be frank it is down to personal opinion on that one; it could be construed either way is the point, some racial slurs are black white this comment is grey.
Ted Smeethes
21   Posted 26/10/2011 at 21:31:47

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While at university 10 years ago I worked as a steward at Chelsea, Fulham and Wembley and paid 4 per hour. If clubs really cared about safety and security they would pay decent wages and not just the minimum wages. They will happily part with 10K or 20K per week to average players but when caring about the safety and security of fans - not a chance. Most of my colleagues were not properly trained and I was given a fake certificate for Wembley.

With regards to your 2nd paragraph, one of my colleagues stepped in and stopped a fight at Fulham back in 1999 and was promptly arrested. My point: it's not the stewards fault, they get paid crap money and are not supported if they get involved.

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