Athletic and fan group to probe 'incidents' after Tranmere clash
Date published: 26 November 2018
The scene outside Prenton Park on Saturday evening. Picture courtesy of Ross Coyne on Twitter
Oldham Athletic and a football supporters' group are looking into 'a number of incidents' after the club's visit to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
A group of away fans claim they were "penned in like animals" and complained about Merseyside Police's post-match policing tactics at Prenton Park.
Today (Monday) the Boundary Park club said it had been made aware of "a number of incidents involving supporters leaving Prenton Park" after Saturday's game.
A statement published on the Athletic's website this morning said: "This is something the club are taking very seriously and we hope provide an update in due course.
"Supporters that have any complaints about incidents following the match on Saturday are encouraged to contact the club.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank those supporters who behaved impeccably at Prenton Park."
The League Two clash between Tranmere and Athletic ended in a 1-1 draw, but afterwards away fans claim they were "kettled" outside the stadium.
A number of fans also complained to the Football Supporters' Federation about post-match policing, with the organisation confirming they would be raising the issue with Merseyside Police.
Amanda Jacks, the Football Supporters' Federation case worker, told the Liverpool Echo: "We have received several complaints from Oldham Athletic fans about the post-match policing tactics at Tranmere Rovers this weekend.
"We will be taking these up directly with Merseyside Police on their behalf."
She added: "Supporters are welcome to contact us with their observations - with cases such as these, the more evidence we have as to fans' experiences the more helpful it is in presenting their case."
Responding to the claims, Match Commander, Chief Superintendent Dave Charnock from Merseyside Police, said: “Our policing of any football match puts the safety of supporters first, which can involve a number of tactics.
"In this case, we were responding appropriately to information about planned serious disorder following the game, and which was prevented.
“Our message to the small minority of fans intent on planning or carrying out violence or disorder at any match is that this type of behaviour in unacceptable and will simply not be tolerated.
"We can and do identify those responsible for such incidents and will issue sanctions including Banning Orders."
He added: “We will be working closely with both clubs to investigate the events of Saturday and I want to thank the vast majority of supporters who attended the game in good spirits."
Merseyside Police confirmed five arrests were made in relation to incidents around the match.
Dom Weiss, aged 26, was an away fan at Prenton Park for the match.
He said fans were penned in "like animals" after they left the stadium.
He said: "After the Tranmere game, we were let out the stand onto Prenton Road West. This from the off was a ridiculous method of crowd control.
"It was okay for those who were on the coaches but for the other fans which included young children, elderly and disabled people was an issue.
"We were penned in like animals for 15 to 20 minutes with nowhere to sit or toilet facilities for those that needed them.
"People wanted to go back in so they could use the toilets or sit in a seat but were refused.
"Once the police decided that we could leave, they opened up a small section to allow hundreds of people out."
Anyone with information is asked to contact @MerPolCC, call 101 or @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.