Aston Villa to 're-educate' stewards following fan ejection controversy
Tue 2nd Nov 2010 | Football Stadiums & Facilities
Aston Villa Football Club’s non-executive director, General Charles C Krulak has promised a review of the club's stewarding guidelines after a teenage fan was ejected from the ground after heading the ball back towards the pitch during Sunday’s derby clash with Birmingham City according to the Birmingham Post.
The young fan was removed from Villa Park after heading the ball back onto the pitch and subsequently falling over the advertising hoardings and near the edge of the pitch.
A Villa spokeswoman confirmed the fan was ejected for “encroaching on the playing area”.
But the club was branded “over-zealous” by the Football Supporters’ Federation and the incident even warranted a mention on the BBC’s Match Of The Day 2 following the brief highlights of the uneventful 0-0 draw.
Now General Charles C Krulak, non-executive director and right-hand man to chairman Randy Lerner, has promised to "re-educate" the club's stewards to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere at the ground.
Posting on the Vital Aston Villa online forum, he said he had spoken with the club's head of security, and added: "Stewards have a great deal to do with the atmosphere around the club. If they are judicious in the exercise of their responsibilities, if they understand the concept of "customer friendly", they will be far more effective.
"They need to exercise fairness in the treatment of all fans, home and away. John [Handley, head of security] is meeting with all the senior stewards to "re-educate" them on how to carry out their duties.
"Obviously, they do have a responsibility to ensure health and safety, but how they go about it is very important. We will fix this. Over zealous stewards can destroy the atmosphere of the club as fast as poor play."
Football Supporters’ Federation spokesman Michael Brunskill said: “The response of the stewards looked totally over-the-top and unwarranted.
“What should have been a funny incident ended up ruining a fan’s day. It’s indicative of the over-zealous attitude to supporters many stewards seem to have.
“We hope no further action is taken and we would advise the fan involved to get in touch with us.”
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