Wednesday, 25 February 2015

My Rochdale Complaint


I have taken the liberty of copying Sheffield United and THE FOOTBALL SAFETY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION (FSOA) OF ENGLAND AND WALES as recepiants of this email.

I have tried to find out the complaints procedure via contact with the official Rochdale twitter page, but have been ignored thus far.

I am a supporter of Sheffield United, yesterday 24/02/2015 I along with my father, brother, uncle and friends drove to Spotland so we could watch the game.

Once at the turnstiles things went wrong.

First of all before I make my specific complaint I would like to point out a few things.

Stewards have certain roles and responsibilities, these are set in legislation.

Stewards Duties, Rights and Responsibilities:

§ To ensure that the requirements of the safety certificate and ground

regulations are met at all times.

§ To be responsible for the safety and comfort of spectators within a designated

area at all times, and this is a primary duty.

§ Assist in identifying those individuals who are banned from the stadium or

those who do not have a ticket or posses a forged ticket.

§ Assist in dealing with breaches of ground regulations, such as supporters

standing continuously.

§ Carry out ejections for breaches of ground regulations, such as for those

carrying weapons.

§ Prevent entry to the stadium of those supporters who have been banned,

those in breach of ground regulations or those in breach of specific


§ Selectively search spectators in accordance with club policies who are

suspected of possessing or trying to bring in to the stadium any prohibited


§ Ensure gangways and exit/evacuation routes are kept clear.

§ Assist in any evacuation of the stadium and are fully aware of the procedure

to carry this action out. 9

§ Ensure they have knowledge of first aid rooms, safety equipment such as fire


§ Be fully conversant with any methods or signals used to alert staff that an

emergency has arisen.

§ Be able to identify safety hazards and suspect packages.

§ Identify and investigate any incidents, reporting the findings to the supervisor.

Selectively is a key word, yesterday Sheffield United had a following that made up over half of the attendance, searching every Sheffield United fan (which the stewards did) is more than just selective!

I also find it a little irregular than several under the age of sixteen, including my cousins young lad was frisked and searched.

Sheffield United fans arrived late not everyone can arrive on time, they purchased tickets from the away ticket office, then were turned away by stewards and not allowed into the stadium as the turnstiles were closed. DESPITE BEING HAPPY TO TAKE THE FANS MONEY AFTER THE CLOSURE OF TURNSTILES THEY WERE UNWILLING TO ALLOW THEM INTO THE MATCH! Surely that's a law breaking move right there in plain sight.

Stewards were arrogant, unfriendly and confrontational this was a contrast to the police who were helpful, friendly and on this occasion I dare say had their hard work undermined by poor ground security.

Now to my personal complaint.

As part of my professional roles and duties I carry tiny screwdrivers, on this occasion I had forgotten to remove these from my person. To demonstrate there size here is a picture of those belonging to a colleague.

the pieces of metal above are curtain rail hangers.

Here is another picture demonstrating the size.

Upon the search of myself The steward asked what something in one of my pockets was, confused I checked and said "oh it is just some of my work stuff" and showed him, I did not try and hide them.

I was then grabbed and manhandled, the police came over and I explained to them, they said my explanation is fine and as long as I was happy to leave the tiny tools with them whilst at the game I posed no threat as I had not had any alcohol nor was I aggressive or resistant. The stewards then informed the police they would not allow me in the ground with or without the tools, confiscated my ticket and also took the tools from the police and refused to give them me back.

My family was already in the stadium so I could not even go and sit in the car, I had to wait outside the ground in the cold until after the final whistle.

I have been treated disgustingly, the Police were happy I posed no threat, they were in agreement I should be able to watch the game, and they were also shocked at the attitude shown towards me.

I now will have to replace the tools (rrp - £40 as they come in a set with miniature pliers and other camera tools which were in the set taken from me despite not being classed as weapons) unless you can find them and send them back to myself which I highly doubt.

I wish for all my complaints to be recorded and dealt with in a quick and satisfactory manor.

I also seek to be compensated immediately.

£40 for new tools OR the return of the originals

£20 for the match ticket

£10 Travel Expenses

Please contact me as soon as possible so that things can be sorted out.

Please do not take longer than two business days or further action will be taken.