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Club News

Club Statement

2 May 2021

Bolton Wanderers Football Club has issued a statement following disorderly and distressing scenes after Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against Exeter City at the University of Bolton Stadium.

A large group had gathered outside the ground against public health advice and despite the Club urging fans not to travel to the stadium. 
 
While good natured for the most part, as the full time whistle approached, a small minority of those in attendance seemed intent on causing disruption.
 
After a concerted effort a small group forced entry through a locked exit door. Stewards regained control of the situation within a few minutes and the Club is extremely grateful to a number fans who took action to assist Club stewards in preventing further infiltration. 
 
Immediately after this incident, several scuffles broke out, outside the stadium. The escalating disorder drew the attention of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and officers were deployed, who worked with Club stewards to disperse the gathering.
 
A small number of arrests were made at the scene and the Club is now cooperating fully with GMP to investigate any criminal activity that took place. High quality CCTV footage exists and will be utilised to the maximum extent possible to ensure the perpetrators can be identified and appropriate action is taken. In recent weeks the Club has engaged with the local authority, Public Health England and other agencies to discuss measures to safely reintroduce supporters to the University of Bolton Stadium when restrictions are eased. 
 
The events of yesterday, off the park, may already have harmed our efforts to secure the support of our event planning partners for the reintroduction of supporters.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to represent a serious risk to public health and gatherings of more than six people outdoors are still not permitted. The safety of our colleagues and community remains our top priority and the Club therefore urges supporters not to travel to Crawley next Saturday and not to gather in large groups anywhere.
 
We wish to acknowledge that the vast majority of those who gathered yesterday were not involved in any violence or disorder. 
 
Bolton Wanderers Manager Ian Evatt said:“Myself, my staff and the players are fully focussed on next Saturday’s game where we will be doing everything to ensure that our season ends in success.
 
“While we understand that our fans want to show their support for us in person, it is important that everybody listens and understands the strong messaging from the Club and authorities.
 
“We all know how frustrating it has been for you not being able to watch us this season, but we ask that you please do not travel to Crawley next Saturday or gather in large crowds at the University of Bolton Stadium or anywhere else.”
 
Bolton Wanderers Chairman Sharon Brittan added: “It’s important to note that only a very small minority of people were involved in the disorder after the game on Saturday. This was very disappointing as it could potentially have an adverse effect on our ability to welcome back supporters once restrictions are eased.
 
“I would like to thank those supporters who assisted our stewards and helped to collect and dispose of the debris and litter that was left behind.
 
“We are desperate to welcome you back to the stadium, so please help us and follow the instructions not to travel or gather in large numbers.”
 
We wish to reiterate that the Club completely condemns any violent and anti-social behaviour whatsoever. and we will now focus on working with GMP and assisting them with their investigations into the serious incidents of disorder that look place.

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