Violence at The Olympic Stadium should ring alarm bells for Wembley Park residents

In my previous blog, ‘The FA act like a North Korean Dictator’ on the subject of Spurs playing their football at Wembley Stadium next season, I asked why there was not a public consultation on this big change to the lives of Wembley residents.

Anybody who lives very close to Wembley Stadium knows full well that football violence hasn’t gone away. Violence around Wembley is nicely papered over.

The Manchester derby here in 2011 saw serious violence before and after the game with a full-scale punch up in the middle of Empire Way.

Fans fighting at White Hart Lane
Earlier this year violent clashes in the streets around White Hart Lane before the Arsenal game were covered in the national press. Image credit: The Daily Mirror

Sporadic violence breaks out around Wembley before most games involving club sides. Ironically, when you consider the horrific scenes we all saw on our TV screens in France this summer, England matches are the most peaceful.

Club football is a different beast.

Football violence is the elephant in the room. More to the point it’s the elephant in the streets when you live in Wembley and just want to go about your business.

The event calendar means we have to plan our days around them. Even a simple trip for food shopping becomes a difficult task. So having a match here every other week, sometimes twice a week will prove a strain on local living.

All locals want is reassurances that each match will be well policed and street drinking is controlled which it currently isn’t at all.

The scenes at West Ham’s new home are normally reserved for the streets around stadiums and it is clear they have massive stewarding issues in a stadium not built for football. But Wembley Stadium was built for special occasions, not for regular club football.

Injured fan at White Hart Lane
Image credit: The Daily Mirror

Spurs will play several London derbies here – as well as Arsenal, West Ham, Chelsea and Crystal Palace will come to Wembley. Violence happens before these games – it doesn’t sit well with the slick PR the Premier League spin for their multi billion £ product.

The big wide spaces around Wembley Stadium are a magnet for violence. Many locals I know still ask why the police appear to be missing when the various incidents of violence occur around Wembley.

I have no problem with Spurs coming here but I think a consultation is now essential in light of the dreadful scenes at The Olympic Stadium. All locals want is reassurances that each match will be well policed and street drinking is controlled which it currently isn’t at all.

The many new residents moving to the Wembley Park development might not quite know what they are signing up to. Spending many a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday in for a football season is one of them.

Image credit