A recent Home Office report has found both Manchester United and Manchester City are two of the worst clubs for supporter behaviour during the past four seasons.
The statistics – which recorded the number of arrests and banning orders issued to supporters of all British clubs – covered each football season between 2019/20 and 2022/23 and concerned every regulated match played by these teams.
It was revealed Manchester United supporters had the highest number of banning orders in place last season – with 69 being active by 1st August 2023.
The League Cup winners also received the most new banning orders that year.
Football banning orders are defined by the Home Office as “a court decision to prevent violence or disorder at, or in connection with, regulated football matches”.
In addition to these findings, the club’s fans ranked second for arrests in the same season as 83 individuals associated with the Red Devils were detained by the police.
Approximately 49% of these arrests occurred at home matches.
On the other hand, it was announced by the Home Office that Manchester City came fourth in the United Kingdom last year for supporter arrests – with a total of 66 made and 68% of these detainments being enforced at The Etihad.
The treble winners were not within the top five for operative banning orders at the conclusion of the 2022/23 season.
In the remainder of the report, it was shown that both clubs’ supporters had a fractious relationship with the law during the last four seasons.
For example, throughout this period Manchester United were associated with a total of 178 arrests – 111 of which came about through Premier League matches.
Public disorder violations were found to be the most offence, with 50 detainments.
The club’s Under 18s were also subject to five arrests during this time, with all being attributed to pitch incursions during the 2021/2022 season.
Manchester United’s arrests total (by season):
- 21 arrests in 2019/2020
- Two arrests in 2020/2021 (where attendances were significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic)
- 72 arrests in 2021/2022
- 83 arrests in 2022/2023
Manchester City followed their neighbours closely with a grand total of 171 supporter arrests in this timeframe – 116 of these detainments were linked to Premier League matches and 25 to European competitions.
Once again, public disorder proved to be the most prolific cause for arrest with 49 of the club’s grand total relating to such offences.
Manchester City’s arrests total (by season):
- 29 arrests in 2019/2020
- No arrests in 2020/2021
- 76 arrests in 2021/2022
- 66 arrests in 2022/2023
Banning orders were another source of disrepute for both sets of fans, as almost an eighth of the Premier League’s 4,702 strong total consisted of those originating from City and United supporters.
The Red Devils’ followers received 346 banning orders within the four-year period, with the Citizens racking up 227.
In relation to the rest of the country, Newcastle United topped the overall rankings with 485 orders followed by 450 for West Ham United’s fanbase.
According to the Home Office, almost all banning orders in force by 1st August 2023 were issued to males – standing at a firm 99.6%.
Talking to BBC Sport about the wider figures produced by this report, the Football Supporters Association said the sport is a “safe, enjoyable environment that millions of supporters enjoy without any problem every season”.
Moreover, its chief executive Kevin Miles added: “Last season reported incidents were down by 6%, while disorder is at its lowest level since 2016-17, and things are now calming down a little after a post-Covid blip that affected the whole of society.
“We fully expected a rise in Football Banning Orders (FBO) as, for the first time, courts are now allowed to issue them to otherwise non-violent offenders who were caught with Class A drugs.
“Because of this change in data gathering FBOs have increased even as the levels of reported incidents have fallen.
“Overall arrests are lower than they were 10 years ago. The low arrest rates compare favourably to many other large events.”
Manchester United and Manchester City have been approached for comment.
Featured image credit: Cleria De Souza via Flickr