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The Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford are the safest football stadiums in the UK, data reveals

Manchester City and Manchester United had the lowest number of crime events per 100 spectators at Premier League matches during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, new data reveals.

There were 2,264 football-related arrests confirmed for the 2022/23 season, the highest figure for nine years, but many more incidents occurred that did not result in arrest, so the picture is much more blurry than this figure suggests.

However, after pairing the average attendance figures with the latest crime data for the past two full seasons, Manchester’s two biggest clubs are found to be the safest in with Premier League, with the fewest number of incidents – events where something happened but an arrest wasn’t warranted.

Old Trafford had just four crime events between 2021-2023, while Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium had just seven crime events, both substantially lower than the 564 at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.

Alongside this, Old Trafford had the highest number of average annual spectators at 1,249,353, with Manchester City’s fourth highest number of average annual spectators at 831,099.

As a result, both clubs’ number of estimated crime events per 100 spectators sits at 0.00, presenting a clear picture in terms of the stadium’s security measures and the behaviours of the two fanbases.

Speaking to Blue Moon group’s Ric Turner, he said: “I always feel safe as a City supporter at the Etihad Stadium, and can’t ever recall moments where I’ve felt threatened in any way.

“The police presence at the stadium feels fairly low key, and I rarely have any interaction with them – although I imagine their presence may be more keenly felt where the away fans sit.

“All clubs have an unruly element, but thankfully it’s relatively small these days.”

While police presence is likely to be higher at certain games where rivalries play a particular role, alongside the time of kick off will influence the potential rowdiness of different occasions, the Etihad Stadium experience appears to be as straightforward as you could hope.

On the other side of Manchester, the feeling is very much the same.

Chris Rumfitt, at Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), said: “You might get some isolated incidents which receive disproportionate attention, but I would say overall going to games is a very safe experience.

“Within the stadium police are not very visible and outside of the stadium, it depends on the risks the police believe are at threat, but more often than not my experience is smooth sailing.

“However, I think most people’s concerns are not that match day experiences are necessarily unsafe, but that police still treat football fans as a problem because of the reputation that still exists.

“I very much think that the reputation can change in the future because the famous incidents of mass hooliganism are behind us and the vast majority of fans don’t intend on causing any trouble, but there is still some way to go.”

Most recently, Netflix released the documentary The Final: Attack on Wembley, which was an incident where England fans engaged in mass hysteria ahead of the nation’s first final in a major tournament for 54 years.

However, while the number of incidents at Premier League clubs varies hugely across the country, the fan match day experience at Manchester’s two largest clubs remains safe and mostly uneventful with regard to security measures.

Feature Image: Photo by Fleur on Unsplash

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