Grimsby Town have condemned the behaviour of “a minority” of fans after an investigative feature into football hooliganism appeared to show Mariners supporters engaging in drugs, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.
On Thursday, February 10, The Times published an investigation piece into hooliganism culture in football, which features clips of Grimsby Town fans during their away match against Notts County on Saturday, February 5.
The article makes reference to drug use and general disorder from a range of supporters, including some as young as 12-years-old, describing it as “the new face of hooliganism”.
A journalist shadowed Nottinghamshire Police last weekend to look into the behaviours of football fans during Grimsby’s game with Notts County, and Nottingham Forest’s FA Cup tie with East Midlands rivals Leicester City.
The situation came to a head during the Forest vs Leicester game, when a 19-year-old Foxes fan ran onto the pitch and punched an opposition player during the celebrations for Nottingham Forest’s third goal.
It was an incident which brought shame to the nation’s favourite sport, but it was one of just many criminal acts on a weekend of madness in Nottinghamshire’s football circles.
In a statement posted online on Thursday, Grimsby Town said they were “extremely disappointed” by the footage of fans’ regular run-ins with the police, but said the tone of the article “distorts” the image of Grimsby as a town.
The statement reads: “It is regrettable that a minority of individuals continue to behave in such a way as to taint our fan-base generally.
“The perspective of the journalist highlights an important societal issue but once again distorts the picture of our town and negates the positive efforts of many in our community.
“As a club, we will be working with the Football Supporters’ Association and our partner agencies, aiming to eradicate poor fan behaviour, taking a tough position but also supporting any of our fans with alcohol and substance abuse issues.
“We will always do our utmost to get the best possible away ticket allocation for our fans, and resist changes to kick-off times, but footage of this nature directly impacts our efforts. Thank you to the vast majority of our fan base who continue to represent our club in a positive way.”