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June 2021

Arsenal must deal with the Merseyside flares issue

We have seen flares at Arsenal this season in European games, and with the visits of Liverpool and Everton.  Yesterday’s match was just another occasion, with at least two flares going off during the game.

Given the number of times flares have been let off it is quite clear that Arsenal’s current stewarding arrangements are totally unable to stop and deal with flares, and the message has gone out to both Merseyside clubs that Arsenal is a soft touch in terms of bringing flares into the ground.

This is an issue give that we are playing Bayern (although I must admit I can’t remember if they are a fanbase that lets off flares) and Everton – who certainly did let off flares during their last visit to the Emirates.

Seen from a distance, flares let off at football matches might seem a bit of harmless fun – a bit of colour lighting up the night.

But if you have ever been near one, you might have a different view.

We have had the case of a 15-year-old suffering lung damage from a flare  at Wigan, and reports from abroad are far worse.  A 14-year-old was killed by a flare thrown at a game in Bolivia.

The warnings are there, and fans of clubs other than Everton and Liverpool are starting to copy the yobs from Merseyside.  I’ve also seen reference to it being a growing problem at Newcastle.

The Premier League are of course inactive, merely putting out statements but doing nothing.  One such said, “A disturbing element of increased pyrotechnics has been the involvement of children.   It is not uncommon for ‘mules’ to bring the pyrotechnics into a ground on behalf of others, and in one incident at a Premier League match last season a child aged around eight was observed aiding those involved in pyrotechnic use.

“The child came into the ground with pyrotechnics in his rucksack and was then seen passing them to members of an adult group who let them off inside the ground.”

There were eight flare incidents reported in the 2010/11 season, 72 in 2011/12 and well over 200 last season.

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Policing minister Damian Green, equally ineffective but wanting to get in on the act of defending inaction, said in one speech, “Flares are very dangerous and can cause severe injuries. We are very lucky that no one has been seriously injured or killed by a flare here for a long time.”

(I say “inactive” quite simply because we still have flares going off at the Ems.)

He said this at a launch of a campaign to stop flares getting into grounds.  During the campaign the use of flares has greatly increased.

True, there is some action after the event – at the Man U / WBA game last season the authorities did get hold of one guy who let off a flare.  He got a suspended two-month jail term and banned from any football grounds for three years.    One year ago two Chelsea fans got jail sentences of 28 days and were given six-year football banning orders for taking smoke bombs into Swansea’s ground.

But I think Arsenal should go further, and tell any clubs whose fans let off flares and smoke bombs that their numbers will be cut in  half for safety reasons if a flare or smoke bomb goes off.  If it happens again, then the number should be cut in half again.    In that way the club that sells the tickets and the travelling fans of the club will do something about this.

This is not impossible, for Arsenal on police advice already reduce the number of tickets available for Tottenham fans at the Ems.  Also some clubs (I think villa is one) reduce the number of away fans allowable if the away fans refuse to sit down when told.  Personally I don’t have any issue with standing, but flares are, for me, personally, a much more serious issue.

If the fans know that their likelihood of getting tickets will be diminished because others supporting their team will reduce the chances of getting a ticket, then they themselves will help keep flares out of the grounds.

Liverpool and Everton, and the various European offending clubs, should get Arsenal’s firm response now.

And just in case anyone wants to write in and blame Arsenal fans for any dangerous actions at away grounds, then yes I would advocate the same action there against Arsenal if Arsenal fans are taking flares into grounds.

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55 comments to Arsenal must deal with the Merseyside flares issue

  • Dear sir,

    Whilst I totally agree with banning flares from all grounds in England , I find your comment calling fans of both Liverpool and Everton yobs unfair? Arsenal fans have treated Everton fans quite poorly when you first moved to the Emirates. your so well behaved fans rained down coins that were hitting children ,so, before you pass judgement on other clubs fans, it would be fair to say get your own house in order before you label fans of other clubs.

    ps. Start a petition on Facebook,pointing out the dangers of flares at Football grounds . I’m sure you will find most of the two Merseyside clubs would support your campaign.

    Good Luck with your season.


  • PhilR

    Article is a clear ploy to keep our ticket allocation down – well done – but it’ll take more than that to overcome us in the cup _ we’re coming for you, you better watch out

  • Robl

    I have to take issue here – Merseyside and flares are synonymous – just look at the cover of Abbey Road.

    On a serious point, it needs to he sorted and now. All it would take is a few arrests and sentences to see the back of it. Good piece.

  • Mick

    The punishments given out to the perpetrators brought to book so far seem so derisory that they would have no value as a deterrent to future offenders. The potential injury or even death to innocent parties should surely be reflected in far more severe sentences for those found guilty, which may then dissuade others from repeating this dangerous act.

  • I find your comment’s inappropriate, unhelpful and most unwelcome. Supporters should be working together for the common good. Evertonians, unfortunately have a track record of using Pyros at games, but why oh why penalise innocent fans.

    The simple fact of the matter is for the Police to Police the situation. Maybe if you are a stickler for rules and regulations you will support our call for Arsenal to give Everton it’s full entitlement of tickets. Rule ( 21 (a) ) of the competition stipulates 15% of capacity, equating to around 9,000 tickets.

    Ironically a figure denied to both Tottenham and Liverpool………….


  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Hear hear!

  • paul morgan

    As an Everton fan take offence with you calling us Merseyside yobs.You could of said the yobs that brought in flares but no you generalise as usual.As for cutting our allocation i would be glad.It’s a disgrace the amounnt Arsenal charge for tickets and without away fans the atmosphere would be non existent.

  • Mick

    I think you can take it as read that the writer is as concerned at any dangerous acts by supporters of all clubs including Arsenal either in the past or the future if his final paragraph is anything to go by.

  • TJ


    Untold will not decide or have any influence over your ticket allocation, Arsenal in consultation with the Met will, and you’ll likely get the same as spuds and Liverpool.

    Regarding the game, Arsenal/Everton under Moyes was often a grueling affair, but this season Everton have been one of the best teams to visit the Grove. You won’t be catching us by surprise this time though! One to look forward to.

    Now a mouth watering tie about to kick off, hopefully a war of attrition!

  • elkieno

    I must admit that it can look impressive but is dangerous. I remember a Milan derby when Milan were better and the inter fans threw a flare landing on Didas’ (goalie) head. They called it off I think was crazy.
    But I have often thought the smoke bellows out how do they not get sick?

  • S j little

    Watching Man Czech v Barcelona is the most boring occupation possible, more excitement playing dominoes.
    To stop all this boring passing game the FA should ban the back pass from outside the penalty area, the the opposing forwards could chase the defenders who would not be able to get out of trouble by back passing.
    Otherwise football is losing all it’s excitement.
    arsenal v Liverpool was great, Arsenal abandoned their cowardly passing game and played direct exciting football.
    The present continental stuff is ruining the game, who wants to pay 50 quid to watch it?
    More excitement at my grandsons games!

  • Mahdain

    offtopic but for eveyone who is going to match tomorrow do your best to get in early. Redaction have prepared a card display and requesting each person to be in their seats by 1935 hrs

  • bc

    Those pesky northerners still wearing flares? Wtf

  • fugee

    Short memories, remember Stamford Bridge in 2010??. I agree that they are dangerous and heavy penalties should be handed to offending clubs. I suggest u get down off yr high horse n look forward to, hopefully, a great quarter final.


  • WalterBroeckx

    fugee, short memory?

    Did you read this : “And just in case anyone wants to write in and blame Arsenal fans for any dangerous actions at away grounds, then yes I would advocate the same action there against Arsenal if Arsenal fans are taking flares into grounds.”

    It was the last line. Short memory? 😉

  • fugee

    So why post the article at all, no point whatsever. Unfortunately there are a handful of fans from all clubs whose actions beggar belief and are not representative of the football club as a whole. As I said, looking forward to the game at the Emirates.


  • WalterBroeckx


    maybe because it happened twice this year and by incident both times with teams from Liverpool.
    Maybe we want it stopped all in all?

  • TJ

    What the deuce….

    Half a billion pound team taken apart by worst Barca team in years. The same Barca team beaten 7-0 on aggregate by the team we will face tomorrow night.

    Print that

  • Andrei

    @TJ How much does Barca team cost? Or Bayern? Or Arsenal for that matter? Most definitely not peanuts. So what is your point?

  • TJ


    Barca, Bayern, Arsenal have not has half a billion/a billion pumped in within 5 years, you get it?

  • Andrei

    @TJ So what is the sticking point? Half a billion? 5 year period? What is acceptable number? Over what period of time?

  • TJ


    Ive read your previous posts and understand you well.

    i couldn’t be arsed with you

  • Andrei

    @TJ Ok could you be arsed to do your homework then? Does Barca ‘pumping in’ 305M over last 5 years sound right to you? Or Bayern with 287M?

  • TJ


    How much have Barca and Bayern EARNED in the last 5 years?

    How much have City earned in the last 5 years?

    Now…subtract both and you will get a fair enough perspective on who has spent what.

    now…do the same for Arsenal.


  • Andrei

    @ TJ So the problem is where the money comes from then? Not how much was invested over what period of time? Last time I checked Barca had financial difficulties combined with some shady dealings to hide how much was actually spent on the players.

  • OMGArsenal

    Andrei and TJ, play nice or take your fight outside please.
    My experience with flares is limited but I see NO place whatsoever for them, fireworks,pen lasers or any other gimmick seen in professional Football stadiums, regardless of where it is or who is doing it. As the article accurately indicates, the FA and the police have turned a blind eye to this behaviour and will do nothing UNTIL someone is seriously injured….and/or a big lawsuit ensues. In North America, there are none of these things permitted and anyone trying to use them is very abruptly escorted out of the stadium by the security team. Here is what needs to be done, in order of application:

    1)A series of very large posters at each entrance to the stadium needs to be shown with a clear message that any of the above will NOT be permitted into the grounds.

    2)The security team needs to have the right to inspect and seize ANY objects that could represent dangerous or illegal accoutrements such as flares, etc.

    3)Anyone found trying to sneak them in using ¨mules¨ should be prevented from entering ANY stadium worldwide by FIFA for at least 3 years.

    4)Anyone using such devices during a game should be immediately identified, arrested by police and charged with being a public nuisance and involved in dangerous activities in a public place….I am sure British law does cover these events?

    5)Visiting teams and their supporters should be advised that if such behaviour occurs again, their ticket allocation will be revised downward and if repeated, will be cancelled completely for the remainder of the season.

    6)The Club whose supporters are found guilty should refuse entry to these hooligans both at home and away games voluntarily rather than wait for the law or the FA to act.

    Any other ideas?

  • TJ

    OMG- are you a moderator? What right have you to ask us to take our discussion offsite? Why can’t Andrei and I debate Arsenal, on an Arsenal site?

    Andrei actually there is no problem at all. Its just enjoyable for me to see a team that could not beat us at home in their pomp, beat City at home, City who have spent spent spent.

    I think your questions to me are typical of what I have seen from you here. In fact, even though I am aware you are well read i am still not sure who you support. I don’t really care either

  • Andrei

    @TJ I think I was asked multiple times before if I’m Arsenal supporter or not. You can check my responses 🙂 Anyway I think that Barca and Bayern are very interesting cases from FFP perspective. With Barca representing everything what is good about FFP and Bayern what bad and ugly about FFP. In other words both are among worst FFP offenders but in a different way.

  • TJ


    To be honest who you support is of no interest to me. However, I have been traveling to European games for close to 25 years now, and all those classic nights European Cup and CL nights at Maine Road throughout the years must mean something.

  • Florian

    I’m sure OMG voiced an opinion shared by many others on this site, not only the moderators. Personally, I think that while both of you see yourselves as Arsenal supporters, the inflammatory nature of your discussion here, combined with it being completely off-topic, makes it a case for nuisance. We are only asking you to be reasonable, back your assertions with data, and be respectful towards others’ opinions.

  • TJ

    Florian- Who the fuck are you?

  • Florian

    Case in point:)

  • TJ

    I remember playin with eastern europeans in the early 90’s and telling them we do not spit at refs over here

  • TJ

    You idiots need to realise Arsenal ARE ENGLISH not global- LONDON-ENGLAND-BRITAIN- OUR LOCAL LIFE

  • TJ

    We grew up under the shadow of highbury

  • TJ

    By the way for you Americans who wont let people in over there, in the early 90’s we had to let all these people in

  • TJ

    the eastern europeans = mexicans sneaking into your country at night time

  • TJ

    The beautiful thing is knowing that Arsenal are my local club, two minutes from my house. You will never have that

  • bjtgooner

    The great thing about the Arsenal is that fans, players and staff from all round the world are welcome. Yes, it is an English club, but like all top clubs it is international in its make up and fan base.

    Too much fire water tonight TJ?

  • Florian

    TJ, you’re not worthy of an answer. But still, if you think growing near the Stadium makes you special, consider this: I spent one good half of my month’s earnings to see a match at the Emirates. And there is another guy in this group that spent two years of his salary to come see a match. Just remember this next time you question people’s attachment to the Club.

  • Gord

    One thing about the “mules” situation. If the mule is “related” to the perpetrator, what does one do?

    Someone from distant place comes to Emirates to watch a game. Brings with them, their child (or children), nieces/nephews, children of friends, or whatever. Person gets the children to carry in flares. Inside the stadium, the person takes back the one or more flares. Whether the person is caught at that point, caught in the stands with uninitiated devices, caught in the act of initiating, or caught after throwing them, it soon becomes apparent this isn’t a situation of a single person doing this. There are all these children involved, who probably should not be punished. Certainly sending them to jail is a bit extreme. Unless the club does something, it doesn’t even make sense to throw the one or more adults involved in jail (immediately).

    Hello Mrs ___. This is Arsenal Football Club calling. Did you send your children to todays football game between remote team and Arsenal with Person X? Yes, they are fine. We have them in one of the suites having pop and ice cream while finishing watching the game. Person X had your children smuggle flares into the game and has been taken into police custody. We need to discuss how to get your children back home safely. And on goes the conversation.

  • Micheal Ram


    Wenger to Mourinho – Sometimes money and success makes stupid people more stupid.

    I personally think whether people will take resposibility and ever change.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I agree that all flares and other dangerous items (inflammable or otherwise)should be screened for and the perpetrators dealt with the most severest penalties within the law .
    Those with mental , excessive aggression or antisocial problems should be screened for and refered to mental health caregivers.
    Their problems may be multifactoral and so proper study ,examination and treatment should be the norm.

    With that in mind the Medical Division of UA presents this intresting study to help all bitchy, prickly ,slimy, sick in the head and very disagreeable SOBs to understand themselves.

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    Seven times a week:
    Good for the mood
    “Frequent sex lowers tension and anxiety,”…

    So there it is – getting laid IS good for you ,so don’t worry ,be happy !
    Get a wife and get a life !

  • ARSENAL 13

    One thing I dont understand is Why is the Premier League silent over this issue.

    Clubs should be more responsible too. They should rein in their fans. If I remember correctly, the banana slinger has been banned by ARSENAL. Whats taking Tottenham so long to find their coin throwing maniacs (you know who bought the tickets dont you)…….

    I also think ARSENAL are too soft here. What action has been taken against the Dortmund fans who vandalized row of seats at the Ems??…What action has been taken against the Napoli fans who went rioting???…

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    Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

    To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a Wife Store just across the street.

    The 1st first floor has wives that love sex.

    The 2nd floor has wives that love sex and have money.

    The 3rd through 6th floors have never been visited….

  • Gord


    I can’t be bothered to read commentary from the Beeb if Arsenal isn’t playing, seeing the score occassionally is sufficient. But, I did look at their “As it happened”.


    BBC – As it happened (yesterday).

    Man City is playing Barcelona. Commentary started at 18:00. Arsenal is not playing today, and yet at 18:54 they just have to barb Arsene Wenger because Mourinho said something about Barcelona.

    Demichelis eventually is sent off in this game. It is 19:25 before any ManCity fan gives any positive mention of this person.

    19:30 something, Randy Savage hints at referee problems.

    19:45 kickoff.

    19:47 Second reasonable supporter vis a vis Demichelis.

    20:06 Third reasonable supporter vis a vis Demichelis.

    20:22: Referee tells player to get up, no penalty. If the referee is telling the player, doesn’t that mean splash? Poor reporting or poor refereeing?

    20:53 Demichelis gets his walking papers for taking down Messi. Savage agrees it was read (last defender), thinks it was outside and hence a free kick.

    20:57 The boo birds are out for Demichelis. Every single one of them has won Champions League coaching some famous team.

    21:00 McNulty sewing the seeds of referee incompetency.

    21:26 Randy Savage, please look at the Laws of the Game. Shoves are not allowed, regardless of how slight.

    21:37 Randy Savage promises to quit the BBC if ManCity win at the Nou Camp! People, if that happens, hold him to it.

    21:47 Vincent Kompany doesn’t know the laws either.

  • Brickfields Gunners

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  • Brickfields Gunners


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  • Va Cong

    Oh no Manchester City had to deal with what we get dealt with every fucking game getting fouled and countered. Didums

  • @walter
    No need 2 argue of explained things to some people because if they do read the article,they would have understand better,thank God ” you have not win any thing in xxxxxx years have nt been mentioned(still waiting 4 it thou).
    I love untold foe just one thing always wanting everybody to enjoy football the way it supposed to be enjoy. Is it from the way it should b played,how it should played,how to support those who are playing and now making sure the environment is safe for us all.
    Stoping flare is nt nd shld nt b Arsenal job alone coz its nt affecting only our fans( it could b somebody close to your heart that it will affect) so join nd help stop flare in the stadiums, so we won’t spend money meant for food nd luxury of life on unwanted nd avoidable sickness nd probably Death.

  • Ste the blue

    I actually like flares and funnily enough, I’m a bit of a yob. Ironic hey??

    Come on you blues


    I think people need to learn the difference between flares and smoke bombs!

  • OMGArsenal

    Florian….neither TJ or Andrei are really into the topic just yet….they have to get their rocks off debating something else……lets let them have their lovefest….maybe Walter or Tony will get tired of this tennis match and put an end to it.

  • AwfulPoints

    You write a big article like this, yet you clearly don’t know what a flare is you idiot