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A Whole New Ball Game

Those of us that go back to the start of the immediate post-Hillsborough regime will recall that the 1992/93 season kicked off with its first ever Monday Night Football. This featured a match between Manchester City and Queen’s Park Rangers at Maine Road. At the time the Platt Lane Stand at the stadium was a building site and housed a firework display that declared the introducti0n of Sky Sports as a major broadcaster was…

The match between Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion on Monday added a different dimension to this as another long-term protest to unseat an owner caused a delay to the kick-off of a televised match. It is not the first time that this type of protest has been seen, but it was designed to have maximum impact due to live television.

A large number of tennis balls were launched onto the field of play causing a fifteen minute or so delay as the “Anderson Out” protesters made their feelings known. Quite how on earth such a large number of tennis ball found their way into Bolton’s stadium is probably a mystery, taking into account the stringent search processes most of us have found it necessary to implement in our grounds.

This was part of a multi-modal protest as fans had staged a march before entering the stadium.

We have seen in many places in recent years short cuts being taking in terms of safety and security in some stadiums in the lower reaches of the football pyramid, but this is a Championship team. Bolton has been a club with acute financial problems according to reports and the FSOA has seen the effect of this as the Club will not finance the membership of its Safety Officer. Ladies and Gentlemen £100+ VAT! Rod Cross reluctantly gave up his membership because of this lack of support.

Following is the Independent’s take on events at the University of Bolton Stadium….

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