The SuperStadium Management Company (SMC) has introduced an enhanced stewarding plan for Hull City matches at the MKM Stadium, to reduce disorder and improve safety at the ground.
This plan follows a successful trial in collaboration with Humberside Police, in response to a sharp rise in anti-social and violent behaviour by a small minority of home supporters following fans returning to the stadium in August 2021.
The trial saw additional stewards deployed in key areas of the East Stand, to engage with home fans to stop migration towards the away supporters. In addition, intelligence is being actively shared with Humberside Police in order to identify people whose presence at the stadium on matchdays has been primarily to cause trouble and incite disorder.
Stadium bans have been issued by SMC, and Humberside Police are taking further action against a number of individuals.
This activity is in addition to ongoing work to prevent disorder by away supporters in the North Stand, and is also supported by engagement work to ensure Hull City fans conduct themselves appropriately at away fixtures.
A spokesperson for SMC said:
“While the perception has been that more stewards in the East Stand looks heavy-handed, the reality is that overcrowding and anti-social behaviour in certain home areas of the stadium had reached a point where we were facing the very real possibility of severe sanctions by the local authority and our regulatory body, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority.
We have been speaking to longstanding supporters who have stopped coming to games because they didn’t feel safe. It’s vital to us that everyone feels they can come to the MKM Stadium to support their team – especially those with young families.
Reports on social media that this was in response to flags and other such rumours are simply wrong. This is a practical solution to a very real problem that was starting to have a big impact on the stadium, staff, supporters and ultimately, the football club.
Where we can, we engage with people to try and explain the results of their actions. It is always our intention to use sanctions such as stadium bans as a last resort.
Our message to home or away supporters who want to use football matches as a way to behave inappropriately, violently or generally in an anti-social way, is: Stay away, football does not want you.”
Supporters visiting the MKM Stadium can expect to see an increased stewarding presence, with more bag and ticket checks throughout the match. The focus of the SMC is to create a safe, enjoyable matchday experience and a thrilling environment in which to enjoy football. We owe this to our valued fans.