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Outrage as video shows fake fans celebrate goal at Southend for Channel 5 film

There was outrage on social media this weekend as a viral video shows fake fans celebrate a goal at Southend United for a Channel 5 film.

Real supporters are sat watching their team from a streaming service or on the television because they can’t attend matches due to government guidelines.

Yet production for a film named Rise of the Foot Soldier is underway and filming at Roots Hall focuses on fake fans celebrating a goal, seemingly with no social distancing and everyone bundled close together.

Dave Shields took to his club’s Facebook group expressing his shock at what he was seeing randomly as he was going past the ground.

He wrote: “Cycled past Roots Hall this morning to find floodlights on, gates open and a full car park! Obviously I had to go in!

“Ended up witnessing the filming of a Channel 5 film ‘Rise of the foot soldier’ A scene involving Southend v West Ham. Different rules for some… #letfansin”


For a long while now, we have been left unsure on when and how fans could be allowed through the turnstiles of the beloved clubs once again, for the first time since March.

Earlier this year, the government gave a green light for football fans to start attending football stadiums for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people.

Fans at just seven English Football League clubs were allowed to enter through the turnstiles, but under certain guidelines with it being still a coronavirus pandemic.

Fans were also allowed to attend football in the seventh tier and below a couple of months back, after the government updated its guidance on recreational team sport events.

Those in the stands did not need to wear face coverings in their seats but was a must while entering, with areas marked out where fans could sit/stand.

Areas were marked out where fans could sit while face coverings had to be worn while entering the ground, but not in the stadium seats or in the terraces.

However, the country’s Covid-19 alert level rose up to 4, meaning transmission is “high or rising exponentially”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Gove confirmed plans for a staged return of fans would be “paused”.

“We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” he said.

“We’re looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.

“We do want to, in due course, allow people to return to watch football and other sporting event, but it is the case that we just need to be cautious at the moment and I think a mass reopening at this stage wouldn’t be appropriate.

“I’ve attended Premier League football matches in London and, by definition, you will have on the tube train to the match, in the circumstances around the ground where people are buying food, going through the turnstiles, at half-time and afterwards a huge amount of social mixing and so we do need to proceed with caution.”

On October the 31st, Boris Johnson announced that the country was going under a second lockdown.

Joey D’Urso and Philip Buckingham from The Athletic reported that the Premier League and EFL is not shutting down imminently despite new national restrictions being introduced.

What will be a blow is that it is understood any hopes of the return of fans to stadiums is now unlikely until 2021 at the earliest.

The #letfansin petition, signed by hundreds of thousands of supporters, was discussed in the House of Commons recently.

Understandable, yes it’s completely wrong to see ‘fake fans’ acting out a goal celebration for a film yet real fans aren’t allowed even at a limited amount.

Of course there’s outrage online as the video shows fake fans celebrate a goal at Southend for Channel 5 film despite real fans unable to go due to coronavirus lockdown…

Lewis Ashley Griffiths: Is this not just gunna piss more people off!
can’t watch an ACTUAL GAME socially distanced but allowed to film a dog shit excuse of a movie in the very stadium fans are exiled from?!? Wrong on so many levels ?

Matt Houghton: Piss poor acting

John Lambert: Foot soldier films complete load of crap . Fairbrass saying ‘c*nt’ every two minutes! How is that entertainment.

Giovanni Quaglia: Are you serious ?

Francis Strong: absolute bullshit fans are not allowed in stadiums to support their club but yet acting like football fans in a film is allowed during lockdown and clearly no social dostancing make me sick one rule for one one rule for another obviously


Guy Grimwade: What a joke when fans can’t go to games

John Everett: Any chance they can let us in Saturday and we make a film on it ? someone must have a camcorder ?

John Moretti: It’s us who should be allowed be there

Steve Goodsell: Disgraceful

Jason Lee: Let fans back in at limited capacity!

Paul Tavistock: Incredibly unfair, appalled #letsfansin

Rory Edwards: We’re in a national pandemic, how is this allowed?!

Will Earnshaw: Can’t believe I’m seeing fake fans at Roots Hall to celebrate a goal but real supporters aren’t and haven’t been able to do such a thing since March, and unlikely to do so until for months to come

SEE ALSO: Government makes decision on whether to let fans back in stadiums

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