Stoke City fans have complained of a heavy-handed ‘1980s-style’ police approach as they tried to make their way home from Luton Town.
A 1,040-strong Stoke following watched a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon but there have been claims they ‘were treated like cattle’ as they left the ground and then again for those who journeyed home on the train via London.
Martin Smith, StokeonTrentLive columnist and former Oatcake fanzine editor, explained on Twitter: “Today’s last gasp agony was made even worse by a shocking police operation outside the stadium which led to widespread trouble.
“They bottlenecked all the Stoke fans, allowing them to effectively ‘mob up’ and then did little to prevent home fans from goading 20 yards away. The result was as inevitable as the fleeing goaders.
“Just don’t need these antiquated 1980s approaches in this era. The fans would have naturally dissipated if left to their own devices. Very depressing.”
The Oatcake added in a further Tweet: “Following on from the ridiculous post match police tactics at Luton today, we’re hearing some pretty disturbing stories of police treatment towards Stoke fans at Euston and more disappointingly, on their return to Stoke station.”
The police presence surrounding Stoke supporters at Euston was enough for other passengers to question on social media about the ‘chaos’.
One fan told StokeonTrentLive: “About 200 of us were kept outside Luton station for 40 minutes for no obvious reason and were then met by a ridiculous amount of officers at St Pancras to be frogmarched around the back into a compound at Euston.
“If you had a ticket you were pushed through and if you didn’t have a ticket it was a mess.
“We had no idea what they were expecting but we had never experienced anything like this before for an away day in London.”
Another said: “We were treated like cattle just because we were football fans.”
And Nick Pace tweeted: “Do football fans deserve to be escorted back without question?
“Any other group in society would be up in arms about such treatment but we’re expected to accept it?”