Figures released this week show that more Manchester United fans have been arrested for offenses where racism was deemed “an aggravating factor or a feature” than any other club in English football between 2014/15 and 2017/18
The report, from the Huffington Post, obtained figures from the U.K. Home Office via a Freedom of Information request. Those figures showed that, between the start of the 2014/15 season and the end of the 2017/18 season, 27 fans identified by police as Manchester United supporters were arrested for racism-related offenses.
Leeds United and Millwall, who currently play in English football’s second tier, The Championship, both had 15 fans arrested each, while Leicester City had 14 and Chelsea 13 arrests.
RACISM-RELATED ARRESTS IN ENGLISH FOOTBALL: 2014/15-2017/18
- Manchester United – 27
- Leeds United – 15
- Millwall – 15
- Leicester City – 14
- Chelsea – 13
- West Ham United – 11
- Barnsley – 10
- Manchester City – 10
- Middlesbrough – 10
- Sunderland – 10
Manchester United have put measures in place to help eradicate racial and discriminatory abuse from the stands at Old Trafford, with a “Virtual Steward” text messaging system in place to allow fans to report abusive fans in a subtle manner.
The club also has a long-running #AllRedAllEqual anti-discrimination campaign.
And the club reiterated its commitment to eradicating discrimination from its fanbase via a statement that said: “There is no place for racism within our game, or in society as a whole, and we are committed to working to make football free from all forms of discrimination, whether through our own ‘All Red All Equal’ campaign or in support of Kick It Out and other organisations.
“This statistic applies to 0.0004 percent of our matchgoing fanbase. It does not reflect the views or behavior of our fans as a whole in any way. We continue with monitoring and liaison with authorities to try and identify and eradicate any forms of discriminatory behavior, and we take appropriate action if it occurs.”
The year-by-year racism arrest figures show the start of an encouraging trend, with arrest figures of 107 in 2014/15 and 114 in 2015/16 dropping to 94 in 206/17 and 75 in 2017/18.