Any regular watcher of Crystal Palace will already be well aware of the lies Sussex Police told about the travelling contingent of Eagles fans at The Amex Stadium on 28th November 2017. Thankfully, it’s an issue which has now been picked up by The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor, in this wonderful piece from Saturday’s Observer.
Having already been given a reduced allocation of tickets by Brighton & Hove Albion following police advice in the build-up to the clash, those who did make it inside the stadium without being kettled outside were the subject of a coordinated and blatant smear campaign by Sussex Police, who wrote, without any basis whatsoever, that supporters had taken knives and knuckledusters into the away end with them.
Given the publication of that rather dramatic claim in the official police report, Palace fans everywhere (but specifically the lads at Five Year Plan) took it upon themselves to search for actual evidence to back up what was a ludicrously bold statement, only to later discover that there was in fact no proof whatsoever of the weapons’ existence.
Quite how or why that smear on the collective character of Palace’s fan-base was allowed to enter an official police report without any evidence remains unknown but thankfully, Daniel Taylor has done his best to shine a nationwide spotlight on the injustice with a beautifully penned column.
Whilst I won’t dissect the feature piece by piece for fear of ruining its flow, the final paragraph makes a wonderfully pointed reference to the direct police quote which suggested that the incident represented a “return to the dark days of football”. The switched on amongst you will almost certainly not need any further clues to imagine which parallel Taylor draws alongside those words but regardless, I wholeheartedly recommend taking a look at the article in question. It’s a masterful take down of the police following an incident which has proved, rather chillingly, that they still haven’t learnt the lessons of years gone by.