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Watching Football Is Not A Crime! Manchester

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

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Free event open to fans of ALL clubs

*The Etihad Stadium, Manchester, M11 3FF. Thursday 1st March 2012. Doors 7pm (7.30pm kick-off). Registration required.

Watching Football Is Not A Crime! is a free Football Supporters’ Federation event open to fans of ALL clubs. The event gives fans the chance to question a panel of experts on football-related policing and stewarding issues. The FSF has previously held Watching Football Is Not A Crime! in London, Portsmouth, and Sheffield.

The panel:

  • Peter Fletcher, head of safety and security, Manchester City.
  • Dr Geoff Pearson, lecturer in law at the University of Liverpool. Geoff’s research interests include the policing of football crowds.
  • Chief Supt Mark Roberts, Greater Manchester Police (GMP). Mark is a senior commander for Manchester policing operations including football.
  • Keiron Walsh, Tuckers Solicitors. Previous cases include acting for 58 Stoke City fans in claims against GMP arising from issues relating to Section 27 notices served in November 2008.

Questions raised at previous meetings:

  • Do you think football fans are discriminated against?
  • Have you experienced ‘bubble’ matches or been herded in police escorts?
  • Why are early kick-offs thrust upon fans by the police?
  • Has standing at games caused tension with stewards?
  • Do you think the use of Section 27 and Football Banning Orders is OTT?

Further timing and venue information:

Fans should arrive for 7pm and the event will kick-off at around 7.30pm, this gives plenty of time for everyone to grab a drink and get settled. We’ll then have two Q&A sessions lasting around one hour each, with a 15 minute refreshment break in the middle. We’re sure it’s a format football fans are vaguely familiar with. If everything’s as interesting as expected, there might even be extra time although it should be wrapped up for 10pm.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe