In the aftermath of the tragedy that was the Hillsborough disaster, the Justice Taylor report recommended all seating stadiums at every top flight ground.
Given the circumstances, and despite the cost to clubs, it was well received if it was to mean there would be no repeat of that horrific day in Sheffield.
Having attended football matches since 1971, the bad old days of the 70’s/80’s seemed to be a thing of the past.
Until recently. I witnessed it last season at Dundee and now again at Firhill last night.
As fans made their way to the Jackie Husband area of the stadium, two officers on horses ferried every supporter approaching towards a single turnstile, while four turnstiles just yards away were relatively quiet. By the looks of it, they were only occupied from fans approaching from the opposite side.
A simple solution would have been either barriers, or the mounted police splitting the fans to alleviate the impending crush. They chose not to, and took up position on the outside of the on coming fans approaching from the west.
Stewarding outside consisted of a couple of stewards at each turnstile, totally helpless and hapless as there was no supervisor organising any sort of crowd control. In fairness to them, you can’t follow instructions if there are non to follow.
I reached the queue around about 7.25, I remember my friend saying, we’d be fine, we had twenty minutes to kick-off, and finally got inside the ground at 8.02, with hundreds more fans behind me, many of them children. God knows what time they would have entered the stadium.
Thankfully, as far as I am aware, no one was injured, I’m sure more out of good fortune than anything else.
Authorities and media are quick to condemn fans for conduct when it’s inside the stadium, but turn a blind eye to the dangerous practices going on outside.
They have a responsibility as much as the fans do to, ensure we watch our game in a safe environment. I hope they accept that before it’s too late, because this is a serious matter.