SPORTS

Which London football fans are worst for racism, homophobia, violence and drugs?

Supporters of London clubs shamed as they head survey of anti-social behaviour on eve of new season fixtures being announced

  • Chelsea worst club for racism, homophobia and drugs
  • Millwall worst for violence
  • Palace fans grass-up (pun intended) their own on drug-taking

Supporters of London clubs have fared badly in a survey of fans’ behaviour carried out by the free sports betting tips site, Free Super Tips, whose findings were released on the eve of next season’s fixtures being announced.

The survey found that the terraces last season saw numerous incidents of racism, homophobia, violence and drug-taking, with a number of London grounds being hotspots for this behaviour.

In the survey, a third of all supporters polled said they had seen their own fans taking part in racism, homophobia, violence and people taking drugs at games across the country, with Chelsea coming an unwelcome top for three out of four.

Ahead of the release of the 2019/2020 Premier League fixtures (on June 13), Free Super Tips surveyed football fans to see what their experiences have been.

The Fan Survey uncovered which supporters are the worst for anti-social behaviour at home and away matches as well as their matchday habits.

More than a quarter (28%) of people who attended games said they have witnessed racism at matches, with Chelsea fans engaging in the most incidents of racist behaviour.

Some 41% of Blues supporters admitted they have witnessed fans from the club being racist at a home game, with more than a quarter of Manchester United fans (28%) saying they’ve witnessed racism, followed by Liverpool (25%), Arsenal (19%) and Tottenham Hotspur (18%). Three out of the top five from London!

Chelsea also come top for the most racist incidents experienced by both home and away fans with 17%, followed by Millwall (13%), Rangers (4%), Liverpool and Celtic (both 3%). 

Homophobia also continues to be a major issue at matches with a little less than a quarter of matchday fans (22%) witnessing supporters being homophobic at games.

Nearly a third of Chelsea supporters (31%) have seen fans from their club being homophobic at Stamford Bridge, with 26% of Arsenal supporters witnessing the same at the Emirates. Other big offenders include Manchester United fans, with 23% witnessing homophobia, followed by Liverpool fans (18%) and Newcastle (17%).

The club with the most homophobic incidents experienced by those in the home and away ends sees Chelsea top with 15%, followed by Millwall (10%), Liverpool (3%), Celtic and Rangers (both 3%).

The study also reveals that a third of supporters have seen acts of fan violence at matches across the UK with 56% of Stoke supporters seeing followers involved in violence towards their own and rival supporters. Nearly two-in-five Crystal Palace supporters (39%) have seen violence towards their own and rival fans, followed by Burnley, Derby and Huddersfield Town (all 38%), Millwall and Cardiff (both 33%).

A crowd incident involving Millwall fans

And 30% of the UK’s fans insist that Millwall is the worst club for violence, followed by Chelsea (14%), Liverpool (3%), Leeds United (3%) and Rangers (3%).

Drugs also seems to be taking up a major role in the matchday with 15% of supporters admitting that drug taking at games is ongoing. 

Crystal Palace supporters say their own supporters are the worst for drug taking with a third of them seeing fellow Eagles doing drugs followed by Celtic (26%), Stoke (25%), Leicester City (22%) and Leeds United (20%).

However, 15% of British supporters say that it’s Chelsea fans who are the most prolific in taking drugs on matchday, followed by Liverpool (10%), Millwall (7%), Manchester United (3%) and Leeds United (2%).

While illegal activities are prevalent according to supporters, the number of arrests being witnessed is at 30% around the UK, with nearly a quarter of fans around the country (24%) saying that they’ve seen Liverpool fans getting arrested the most. Millwall take second spot with 21%, Chelsea and Leeds United (both 4%) and Rangers (3%).

And, despite all the issues around the grounds, 12% of fans admitted that that if they felt they could get away with committing violence, vandalism or drug taking at football matches, they would do it.

Jake Apperley, a spokesperson for Free Super Tips, said: “The survey shows a number of concerning issues that continue at matches across the country.”

Palace fans say their own supporters are worst for drug-taking. We do not wish to imply, nor should it be inferred, that anyone pictured is involved in such practices
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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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