Why I won’t say sorry for shining a light on crush
IT IS tempting just to laugh at the Sheffield Wednesday supporters who post me abuse and images of every overcrowded — or even crowded — football ground they can find, because I had the temerity to write about a group of visiting Newcastle United supporters who felt crushed and scared during their FA Cup tie at Hillsborough.
The hyper-sensitive, thin-skinned people who ask me to apologise for relating such testimonies are too wrapped up in victimhood to see that the same reporting would have applied to Bramall Lane, Oakwell or anywhere else. They are feeling hugely vindicated because the club now say a ‘review’ of the crowd management that day, commissioned by Wednesday and Sheffield City Council, has found that all aspects of safety complied with the club’s safety certificate.
‘Minor recommendations were made relating to the overall match-day experience at the ground,’ the club and the council said in a press release faithfully reported by the local paper. I asked the club for a copy of this review. They said they didn’t have one. I asked the Sports Ground Safety Authority, who referred me to Sheffield City Council. I asked the council, who asked for an email, to which they have not replied.
I called Newcastle fans known to have been caught up in events that day, to ask if Sheffield’s ‘investigators’ had rung. They hadn’t. Has history taught us nothing? Nothing to laugh at, really.