By Billy ‘the dog’ McGraw.
Head of Security, emirates stadium
Much has been made of the fact that the security services that run the Emirates Stadium – our stadium of choice – failed utterly to prevent some Tottenham fans throwing coins and other objects at ambulance men, while also failing to stop supporters of certain Merseysidic football “clubs” from letting off flares, smoke bombs and other smelly objects – despite repeated warnings from Untold that the events would happen.
Now the important point of this story is the predictive ability of Untold and much has been made of our staggering ability to see into the future.
But there is a secondary issue and which is that the security people at the Emirates failed to get to grips with the smoke bombers – despite the warning. Pictures of men in colourful jackets going into the crowd after the flare had gone off, and then five minutes later going back into the same part of the ground to get another one, and singularly failing both times as the standing fans refused to get out of the way to let them by, was perhaps amusing at one level – although worrying at another.
Of course the story did make the front cover of Playbeing, and was featured repeatedly on its football pages by Zaphod Beeblebrox, our reincarnated safety expert.
And so it is, without any hope or expectation that our warnings will be taken seriously that we issue our next safety notice:
Our awareness of this latest safety threat has arisen after police in Thessaloniki arrested a PAOK fan accused of delicately arranging a large number of fish of the anchovian variety on the seating area to be used by the management and others of Olympiakos. As a result the Greek Cup semi-final was delayed for over an hour.
Now a similar issue arose at the FA Cup semi-final this year when hundreds of pies were scattered around the Arsenal team area by Wigan fans before kick off in an attempt to slow our brave lads down. Fortunately Arsenal staff saw them in time and handed them to a supporter and his father sittin’ (as they say in blues music) just behind Drew and Tony opposite the half way line, and the pies were rapidly defused.
Back in Greece, six more PAOK supporters were arrested while throwing fish at police. PAOK won the match 1-0 despite a lot of fighting on the pitch, in the stands, and on the bench. The flare total ran into the thousands, many of which were thrown onto the pitch.
And this really is my point. Leaving aside the danger from anchovies (vicious brutes that can cut through a man’s leg with a single bight [are you sure of this Billy?- editor] the fact is that the anchovy situation began with a single fish, and the flare situation began with a single flare, just as the procreation of the species began with a single … ‘[I think that’s enough of that – ed]
After protests from the Anchovian ambassador, the Greek police announced that a 34-year-old man had been arrested and charged with crimes against fish. Olympiakos’ home ground, it should be added, is in port of Piraeus, and its supporters are nicknamed “anchovies”.
I need hardly tell you what this means for Arsenal. I mean how many Emirs will Liverpool fans dump in Mr Wenger’s seat? Will Arsenal fans react by dumping liver in Mr Rodgers seat? Will eternity be placed in the seats allocated to Everton staff? Will donkeys be found in the area arranged for Aston Villa?
It is all too fearsome to contemplate.
PS: Quite a bit of this story is actually true.