Birmingham City announce 'stricter controls' at St Andrew's ahead of Millwall clash

BIRMINGHAM City are reviewing their safety arrangements after a fan attacked Jack Grealish during their derby clash against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Grealish was punched by Paul Mitchell, who on Monday was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for the assault.

Millwall travel to St Andrew’s for Wednesday night’s Championship fixture against Garry Monk's side.

Birmingham released statements this week addressing Sunday’s incident, revealing “there will be stricter controls of certain parts of the ground”.

“Birmingham City Football Club is continuing a thorough and robust investigation into the events of Sunday’s derby match against Aston Villa,” one statement said.

“The Club is reviewing all of its stewarding, safety and security procedures as a matter of high importance.

“We will be putting into place extra measures at our stadium designed to help ensure the safety of players, as well as supporters.

“Whist we cannot go into specific details, there will be stricter controls of certain parts of the ground.

“Supporters are reminded that under no circumstances should they encroach onto the pitch and, after the events of Sunday, we are sure the importance and seriousness of this message is recognised.

“The Club continues to have regular dialogue and meetings with West Midlands Police and the relevant authorities about all aspects of safety in the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

“And we are working closely with football’s governing bodies as we move forward.

“The Club can confirm it is also investigating an incident involving a steward after Aston Villa players celebrated their goal on Sunday in front of their supporters in the Gil Merrick Stand.”

Blues also released a statement after Mitchell’s sentencing, as well as addressing “vile and malicious” tweets posted by a supporter on Sunday.

The club said: “Birmingham City Football Club welcomes the sentence handed down to Paul Mitchell by Birmingham magistrates [on Monday].

“What he did was unacceptable and has no place in football.

“The Club can confirm that Mr Mitchell is banned from our home ground, the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium, for life. And nor will he have access to purchase tickets for away games involving Birmingham City Football Club, or have tickets purchased on his behalf.

“The Club has also banned another supporter for life for a series of vile and malicious Tweets on social media, relating to Jack Grealish and his family.

“The individual in question remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by West Midlands Police.

“Birmingham City FC rejects all forms of anti-social behaviour. We will not tolerate the kind of incidents we have seen during and since Sunday’s derby fixture against Aston Villa Football Club.”

John Kelly