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Sheffield Wednesday hit back with fresh statement on ‘Hillsborough overcrowding’ vs Newcastle

Sheffield Wednesday hit back with a fresh statement on the ‘Hillsborough overcrowding’ vs Newcastle United a few weeks back.

The League One club had come under fire after sections of Newcastle fans complained about a lack of stewarding in their FA Cup clash at Hillsborough.

The Football Association looked into the complaints but Sheffield Wednesday have defend themselves, though insisted they will assist with its enquiries.

Wednesday said: “Further to a request from the Football Association on the afternoon of Monday 9 January, Sheffield Wednesday has now submitted its comprehensive observations to the governing body following last weekend’s Emirates FA Cup third round tie with Newcastle United.

“We have engaged in extensive dialogue with all relevant parties to review the circumstances to best assist the FA with their enquiries.

“Whilst it is inappropriate to outline in full the details of the submission at this time, the club feels it is important to emphasise that the stewarding numbers in place within the visitors’ section of the stadium exceeded the requirements of the safety certificate.

“The allocation of tickets issued to Newcastle supporters also complied absolutely with the safety certificate.

“In addition, fewer supporters entered the visitors’ turnstiles when aligned to the number of tickets allocated and sold.

“The turnstiles were opened 30 minutes earlier than a regular matchday, two hours before kick-off at 4:00pm, to allow Newcastle supporters to enter the stadium in a timely a manner as possible.

“There were no reports of injuries or medical assistance required on the West Stand logged with the club’s first aid operations manager before, during and after the game.”

Sheffield Wednesday issued another statement on the 10th of February, saying:

A review at Hillsborough Stadium over concerns about crowd movements has concluded, stating that all aspects of safety at the stadium complied fully with the club’s Safety Certificate. Minor recommendations were made relating to the overall matchday experience.

The review was commissioned by Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, with oversight from the Sports Ground Safety Authority after concerns were raised relating to the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United on Saturday 7 January.

As part of the review the group reached out to Newcastle United supporters who attended the fixture, liaised with partner agencies, examined matchday records and scrutinised CCTV images.

A review of the crowd management procedures implemented by the club on the day, together with revisiting associated capacity calculations, was also carried out.

Councillor Joe Otten, Sheffield City Council, said:

“Public safety is our priority; we work together with governing bodies and our local clubs to make sure everyone attending matches is safe. We understand that fans are going to feel concerned if they feel like there is overcrowding, so it’s our responsibility to ensure that we don’t put people in that position, and where concerns are raised, we take them very seriously.”

“We have carried out a thorough review looking at all the evidence available as well as speaking to fans, officials and stewards who were present on the day. We’ve also reviewed all matchday operation plans.

“Our findings show full compliance at the stadium and no issues relating to the matchday operation. Some minor changes have been identified to improve the overall experience.

“As is normal procedure, we will continue working together, carrying out routine checks and sharing plans and knowledge to make sure everyone on site is safe and has the best experience possible.”

The concerns raised were also subject to review by the Safety Advisory Group who agreed with the findings. The FA and EFL have also been notified of observations from the fixture, with no additional requirements asked of the club or at the stadium.

Liam Dooley, Sheffield Wednesday Chief Operating Officer, said:

“We welcome the outcome of this review as the welfare of all supporters and everyone inside the stadium is our utmost priority.

“We would reiterate that the stewarding numbers within the visitors’ section of the stadium for the Newcastle fixture exceeded the requirements of the Safety Certificate.

“The Newcastle ticket allocation also complied completely with the Safety Certificate. We continuously review our safety management plans and ensure the correct measures are in place for every fixture at Hillsborough.

“Extensive planning meetings with relevant stakeholders are held before each game, with equally extensive review meetings thereafter.

“While we have full confidence in our matchday operations, we welcome feedback on an ongoing basis as to how we can improve the experience for supporters and listen to any concerns raised as a matter of course.

“We have worked closely with Sheffield City Council and the respective sports governing bodies in conducting a robust review of the Newcastle United fixture and are pleased that the findings support the confidence we have in our procedures.

“Some minor recommendations will be implemented to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible matchday experience.”

Reports of overcrowding at Hillsborough was a major concern after 97 fans died in an FA Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in 1989.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority, (SGSA), stated that it was ‘concerned by the reports’ and is conducting its own review.

The FA requested information from both clubs, while the Newcastle United Supporters Trust asked fans for more information.

Nearly 4,500 Newcastle fans travelled to Sheffield to watch the FA Cup match on Saturday, making their way into Leppings Lane End.

This is what Twitter users said as Sheffield Wednesday hit back with a fresh statement on the ‘Hillsborough overcrowding’ vs Newcastle…

@Owls1412: @CraigHope_DM are you going to make as much fuss over the facts then in the interest of a balanced view. 🤔🤔🤔. Can’t wait to see you retweet this

@Cunners_: @KellyCates Any chance of a RT love

@WLegend1978: Got to fear for Wembley with the geordies going. They be moaning Wembley way is not big enough.

@_CharlieThePooh: brb just going to post this on a few hundred tweets from a few weeks back 👀

@owen_ryan7: @KellyCates give this a read. Retweets would be appreciated 👍

@JamesJordan91: Newcastle fans/journos will be crying reading this!! Well done Wednesday 👏🏻👏🏻

@carl_crossfire: @CraigHope_DM should issue a public apology to swfc… more importantly they should apologise to the families of the 97 who they degraded through false allegations… #Disgraceful

@smith_alister: Any chance of an apology @ianherbs? Presume you will now run a full page story on this?

@tcswfc: viva chansiri 💸💸

@swfcArxhie: @CraigHope_DM @KellyCates @ianherbs anything you wanna say now?

@kelly_owls: FAO @CraigHope_DM 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

@top7664: I think some apologies are needed.

@ncalow: @KellyCates @CraigHope_DM @ianherbs are all keeping quiet now 👀

@CortonJoss: @CraigHope_DM @ianherbs you “journalists” should be ashamed

@tomrobson11: @CraigHope_DM come on then Craig… I wana hear the same energy you had 4 weeks ago.

@lucasbun: @ianherbs Retraction of your story perhaps or even an apology to @swfc

@SeanWhite15: Ridiculous Wednesday even had to defend themselves on this. Although there’s a surprising element of common sense from the council. Be nice if they could find some more to deal with the “issues” they believe exist at BL.

@Owls1412: @KellyCates are you going to retract your previous retweet and replace it with this factual one….. no, I didn’t think so…..

@The5herriff: Now sue @mhardysport @KellyCates @CraigHope_DM and all the others for their shameful and disgusting lies.

@dazfidd1867: @mhardysport @CraigHope_DM Any chance of an apology after all the lies and total crap you decided to write about my club!!?? @KellyCates Any chance you will retweet this or doesn’t it fit within you’re agenda!? You should be ashamed you hypocrite!!

@loveajoke1978: Take the fuckers to court. No one fucks with DC

@Olivia820644673: @KellyCates @CraigHope_DM any chance of an apology you pair of twats. Trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill for a bit of attention. Well put that in your pipe & smoke it & while you’re at it give it a retweet 👍🏻 #SWFC #WAWAW

@chrisjaybee88: @CraigHope_DM can we have an apology please you insufferable jizz rag?

@bpatjc: Fuck off craig @CraigHope_DM

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