MILWALL CEO Steve Kavanagh hopes the play-off final pitch invasion will be a “turning point” and fans will refrain from repeating the scenes in the future.
Several hundred Lions supporters raced onto the Wembley pitch after the final whistle following Steve Morison’s match-winning goal against Bradford that sent his side into the Championship.
Millwall are working with the Met Police to identify those involved, with Kavanagh warning the consequences of pitch incursions are far reaching.
Kavanagh is hoping Millwall fans – the vast majority of whom stayed in the Wembley stands waiting for the trophy presentation and to salute the players celebrating on the pitch – convince others “enough is enough”.
“We’re working carefully with the FA and all the authorities,” Kavanagh told NewsAtDen. “There are a number of people that have not only gone on the pitch but goaded the opposition.
“It is illegal to go on the pitch, I think it’s important fans understand that. I met with the Millwall Supporters Club [last Monday] and the supporters want it to stop.
“If you listen to the 27,600 fans or whatever it was in the stands booing and shouting ‘off, off’, if I were one of those people who decided to go and have a selfie on the pitch I would be highly embarrassed.
“I think the fans now need to get to their peers and compatriots and say enough is enough. They are endangering it and ruining it for other people.
“I was asked by the MSC what the cost of the fine would be. The cost isn’t the fine, the cost is reduced allocations in ticketed games, police bills. People talked about Leeds away, for instance, and the ticketing arrangements. The chances of us changing those arrangements, for the good, hardcore fans who have been travelling and are good people, the opportunity of that is gone now.
“There are all sorts of consequences from a few hundred people wanting a selfie on the pitch. Unfortunately there were those who wanted more than a selfie, and those people we will help the police identify because it is a criminal act.
“The fans now, they’re upset. We are upset, but they are very upset. I think it’s a vital turning point. People have got to learn they cannot run on the pitch.”
Image: Millwall FC