Our insider at Wembley stadium reveals how football continues to get the short end of every stick.
I’ve been to various events at Wembley Stadium recently, FA Cup Final, playoffs, concerts and boxing.
When it came to the matches the stewards were on top: no smoking, no standing, no alcohol beyond a certain point – all managed calmly and friendly.
When it came to the boxing and concerts, it was quickly realised that that extent of management was futile.
Alcohol was allowed regardless which meant many people getting seriously inebriated; Stewards could only keep an eye on people for self safety. As alcohol flowed then people would start smoking -7 hours without a smoke is arduous for some. Stewards began having quiet words but it soon became a losing battle and therefore gave up.
As for standing? Er, they were concerts – who sits at a concert?
Boxing was the same, everyone was “up” for it and stewards were pretty much powerless, apart from keeping stairwells and exits clear and monitoring the state of people there was very little they could do.
Now, if this was a football match being seated would be mandatory. There would be two warnings then ejection (apart from when a “momentous” moment happened and then only 3 or so minutes of standing are permitted)
Smoking-NO (Again a warning, maybe 2 before ejection)
As I left the recent Eminem concert I overheard a steward say to police “Thank f*ck that’s over”. The officers nodded and said “Total bloody nightmare”
Further into Wembley Park Station a Station manager was heard, quite loudly, stating “You lot are f*cking worse than any football fans, we have cordons and timed entry management for YOUR safety but you ignore and break these cordons so we have to seriously restrict access”
There is a serious lack of communication between Wembley, Brent MPS and TFL regarding exit and timing of last Tubes but we know that no thought is given to anyone getting home after Wembley events.