Search

Arsenal agrees to cover bill for cleaning up sea of rubbish in Highbury Fields after Cologne match

PUBLISHED: 12:11 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:35 22 September 2017

Rubbish around the Emirates Stadium after the match last week. Picture: Cllr Caroline Russell

Rubbish around the Emirates Stadium after the match last week. Picture: Cllr Caroline Russell

Archant

Arsenal will foot the bill for cleaning up Highbury Fields after last week’s Cologne match that saw thousands of fans unexpectedly descend on the park.

A sea of Cologne fans blocking Highbury Corner. Picture: Emily Bawtree/Twitter A sea of Cologne fans blocking Highbury Corner. Picture: Emily Bawtree/Twitter

The final cost is expected to be up to £5,000 although a final figure has yet to be calculated.

An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 FC Koln supporters travelled to Highbury to watch their team play in Arsenal’s first ever Europa League game. Some 2,900 tickets were available, leaving the majority of the visiting fans unable to get in.

The match was delayed by an hour and some Cologne fans donned Arsenal shirts in an attempt to get into the home stand.

Highbury Fields was left covered in glass and rubbish, with neighbours complaining about “vandalism” and intimidating behaviour. Council cleaners had it spotless by 9am, but the town hall asked Arsenal to cover the cost - and it said yes.

“They were very good about it,” council leader Richard Watts told the Gazette. “It’ll be a few thousand pounds.”

London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore last week said he believed the club should also pick up the tab for the policing operation outside the Emirates Stadium. Currently, Premier League clubs pay only for internal policing, with the Met shouldering almost all the £7million bill for additional cops on match days.

The visiting fans were filmed travelling through the West End but appeared to take the authorities by surprise when they arrived at Highbury and Islington station, completely blocking Highbury Corner as they headed to the Fields. Cllr Watts said the following day the police had dropped the ball in not warning the town hall about the huge numbers who were expected to arrive.

A club spokesman told the Gazette the contribution was being made due to the “exceptional circumstances” of the match. Similar scenes haven’t been witnessed since Arsenal played Dortmund in 2011 and an estimated 6,000 away fans turned up.

Highbury East councillor Caroline Russell (Green) told the Gazette she welcomed Arsenal’s move.

“Arsenal’s statement the next morning was just oblivious to the impact their event had on local people,” she said.

“Not everyone who lives in Highbury can go to the match – there just aren’t enough seats. An awful number of people were impacted and got all the negative without the joy of seeing their team play.”

Five people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences in the wake of the match. Three will face no further action, while two have been released under investigation.

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 18:19

The controversial trampoline park being built at the Sobell Leisure Centre to get more youngsters exercising will cost them as much as £10.50 a go.

Yesterday, 12:39

Sadiq Khan has rejected thousands of calls to bid for the empty Holloway Prison site – but said yesterday it would be an “outrage” if it ended up as vacant luxury housing.

Yesterday, 11:28

DJs and clubbers are fighting to keep Old Street’s Magic Roundabout open after its licence expires at the end of the year.

Yesterday, 07:00

When Stuart Hazeldine became the latest moped phone snatch victim, he thought there was a good chance of getting the device back when the “Find My iPhone” app said it was in Elia Mews, Islington.

Thu, 16:03

A scout leader who sexually abused two boys, assaulting one of them in a field on camp, has today been jailed for 10 years.

Thu, 12:59

A person died at King’s Cross St Pancras Tube station this morning after being hit by a Victoria line train.

Thu, 11:40

The leader of Islington Council has written to Chancellor Philip Hammond urging the government to lift legislation which stops the town hall building more council homes.

Thu, 10:58

Drivers of diesel vehicles will soon be charged £2 an hour for short-stay parking in Islington.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now