We all know the story.
Villa fans thought the whistle had gone and leapt onto the pitch to celebrate.
There was very little, if any animosity aimed at the Albion fans and it was all celebratory, from what I’ve seen.
But it was a high profile game shown on the Beeb and gave totally the wrong message to anyone watching, in that it’s ok to invade if you’ve won an important game.
Which would be fine, if it was just an important game.
As we all know, that particular game was, well, a game-changer for the club, one that, for me, massively contributed to the difference of us staying up or going down.
But donning a neutral cap, it’s not a good enough excuse.
While I totally believe the fans intentions were perfectly good and it was just pure celebration, I think, having had time to think about it, that it was an inflammatory action that actually provoked the Albion fans into their behaviour, that was actually way worse than ours.
My opinion says the Albion fans don’t really kick off in the way some of our other local fans do, is the point.
I understand that this might not be a popular opinion, but we have had some previous history this season.
We’d already been fined £100K for the Leicester game, a fine that had been increased after a previous £50k fine in an earlier game, that eludes me (Stoke?).
Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t blame the fans for this at all (apart from getting the timing wrong), but the fact that the game was shown live with the likes of Lawrenson saying it was a disgrace and practically the end of footy as we know it didn’t help.
Where were the stewards and police, who while I wouldn’t expect them to stop a full blown invasion, should surely have done better?
Penny pinching? Probably, given the fact that I actually got thrown out of VP for holding an unlit cigarette a while back (yes, it still wrankles, for those who remember the story. Pay peanuts, get monkeys).
Is that £200k actually a record?
I thought West Ham got the same for the fracas against Millwall, but don’t know for sure.
Summing up, yes, it’s a harsh fine, but are we really surprised, given that it’s the FA who handed it out?
They’ll happily sell their soul down the river and will do anything to pay off the stupid money that the unwanted Wembley cost.
I have the same opinion of those in charge of the FA, as they seemingly have for football supporters who are celebrating a win.