Thursday, 4 October 2012

Charlton chairman injured by Spanish police

Charlton chairman Michael Slater has lodged a complaint with the FA about Spanish police. City fan Slater was knocked unconscious before last month's Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Slater was left with minor head injuries and severe bruising. He has now reported the matter to the head of security at the FA and expects the matter to go to Uefa.

Footage of the incident, which was caught on camera, shows officers clashing with fans and Mr Slater sprawled on a dual carriageway just yards from the Bernabeu. All a bit different from the very nice meal I enjoyed there in July overlooking the pitch.

The 46-year-old lifelong City fan told the Manchester Evening News how he was punched and hit with a baton on his leg, before falling to the floor and hitting his head, in an unprovoked attack.

Mr Slater, a City season ticket holder, originally from Heald Green, Stockport, said: 'It was about 7.30pm and we were all enjoying the last of the Spanish sun when the police arrived and congregated 20m up the pavement from us. They stood there for a few minutes before charging at us hitting people with batons.'

'I was attacked by at least one police officer. I was hit on the leg, a blow so hard it smashed the mobile phone in my pocket, I was then punched in the face which knocked me down.'

'I fell into the dual carriageway and banged my head on the road. The shocking thing is the police did nothing to stop traffic, it was other fans doing that. I still have bruising from the attack and whiplash. I was appalled I have never experienced that before in an away trip, you expect the police to be there to serve and protect not do what they did, it was very disturbing.'

Bringing in the Charlton dimension, he added: 'Being a chairman of a Championship club, the fifth biggest league in the world should make me a credible witness to UEFA and they will take this seriously.' I hope he right in the sense that this does not provoke a 'Who are Charlton?' moment at Uefa HQ.

The Times had an interesting piece on Monday in which their chief football writer argued that football fans were too ready to 'expect and accept' poor treatment by police. I don't have any direct experience of this, but my view would be that treatment of English fans travelling abroad is poorer.

1 comment:

Wyn Grant said...

There were some comments about it being a bit strange having a chairman who is a City supporter, but they seem to have disappeared. I didn't remove them! It is a bit ironic to contrast Mr Slater's experience in Madrid with mine - there seems to have been a bit of a role reversal. Not only was I invited to have a meal at the Bernebau, I also had a twenty minute audience with the Crown Prince at the royal residence outside Madrid. We did not, however, discuss football.