The chorus of disapproval from the majority of Millwall fans forced to witness Saturday’s pitch invasion was a stark indication of the feeling inside Wembley Stadium at the end of the League One Play-Off Final but unfortunately it failed to prevent some unsavoury scenes.
It is a criminal offence to enter the playing area and whilst some of those who made the decision to break the law did so to celebrate their team’s success back to the Championship, a mindless few opted to goad the Bradford City players.
Their actions were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the EFL. The efforts of the Millwall manager and some of his players to remove the offenders from the pitch should be complemented as should Neil Harris’ appropriate and welcome apology on behalf of his Club.
The EFL will be writing to Stuart McCall and his Bradford team to apologise for the situation they found themselves in.
In addition, the EFL will be encouraging Wembley to work with both the Metropolitan Police and Millwall to identify those whose behaviour created the most concern on the day and to take the necessary and appropriate action.
The EFL will also raise a number of concerns with Wembley as to how the fans were not only able to access the playing area but then able to get so close to the Bradford City team, who showed great restraint given an incredibly challenging and difficult situation.
We cannot allow a set of circumstances to exist where the playing area becomes an appropriate place for fans to celebrate and Wembley, like stadiums across the Country, have to be prepared to deal with the type of events that emerged on Saturday efficiently and effectively so as to ensure there is no repeat.
The efforts of one particular steward in keeping the Millwall fans away from the Bradford City team should be both recognised and applauded.
The EFL has witnessed an increased number of pitch incursions this season and will look to work with its Clubs and supporter groups across the country to establish what practical measures can be put in place to reduce the number of instances in the future.