Record football banning orders & arrests for Birmingham City, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves

New Home Office figures show that football-related arrests rose by nearly 60% last season in comparison to the season before the Covid pandemic

The Home Office has today (22 September) released the latest figures on the number of football banning orders and arrests across England and Wales for the 2021/22 season.

The data shows that there were 2,198 football-related arrests in the 2021/22 season across the UK, an eight-year high.

This is 59% higher than the last pre-Covid season, which was in 2018/19. Football-related arrests rose by nearly 60% last season in comparison to the season before the Covid pandemic as police targeted troublemakers at matches.

In addition, the figures show there were 1,308 people with Football Banning Orders (FBOs) at the end of the 2021-22 season, including 516 new orders issued, preventing those individuals from attending games, including the World Cup in Qatar.

Blues fans have highest number of banning orders in force currently

The new figures show that when looking at all football banning orders currently in force (including those issued in previous seasons), Birmingham City supporters had the highest number of football banning orders (57), followed by Millwall supporters (52), and in third place were Bolton Wanderers supporters (46).

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St Andrew’s football ground is home to Birmingham City fans (image: Getty)

Which clubs received the most banning orders in 2021/22?

In the West Midlands, Birmingham City supporters were issued with 10 new banning orders last season. Aston Villa received 5 and West Bromwich Albion supporters had 3. Wolves supporters received a total of 5 banning orders. None of the clubs make the top ten for the number of new banning orders for the latest season, despite Blues having the highest number still in operation.

Across England and Wales, Millwall supporters received the highest numbers of banning orders in 2021/22 with 33 being issued. This was followed by Leicester City with 28 and Everton with 26.

Here are the top 10 clubs with the most banning orders issued last season:

  1. Millwall: 33
  2. Leicester City: 28
  3. Everton: 26
  4. Plymouth: 23
  5. Manchester City: 20
  6. West Ham: 18
  7. Burnley: 17
  8. Derby: 15
  9. Middlesbrough: 15
  10. Manchester United: 14

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Birmingham had the most recorded new fans banned from its football matches in the season before (2020/2) in England and Wales, with 27 orders - despite Covid restrictions limiting fan interaction during that season.

How many arrests were there during the 2021/22 season?

Thirty-three Birmingham City fans were arrested last season. West Brom had 20 fans arrested, Wolves also had 20, and Aston Villa had 27.

The club with the highest number of supporters arrested in the season just gone (2021 to 2022) - was West Ham United, with 95 arrests.

This is followed by Manchester City (76) and Manchester United (72). See the top 10 list below. None of the West Midlands clubs featured in the list.

Here is the top ten:

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  1. West Ham United: 95
  2. Manchester City: 76
  3. Manchester United: 72
  4. Leicester City: 59
  5. Everton: 58
  6. Millwall : 49
  7. Liverpool: 48
  8. Tottenham Hotspur: 45
  9. Leeds United: 44
  10. Queens Park Rangers: 43

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The data also shows that incidents were reported at 1,609 football matches last season (53% of matches) with the most reported types illegal use of pyrotechnics (729 matches where incidents were reported), throwing missiles (561) and public order or anti-social behaviour incidents involving youth supporters (444).

What has the government said about the 2022 figures?

UK Governemtn Minister for the Home Office, Jeremy Quin, said: “Our football clubs are at the heart of our communities, and it is unacceptable that the game we all love is tarnished by a minority of selfish troublemakers.

“The increase in football-related arrests shows that police are taking firm action to stop this disorder and preserve the enjoyment of the game for fans and families which I wholeheartedly support.”

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New data released by the Home Office shines a light on the number of football banning orders given out between 2020-21 (image: Mark Hall/NationalWorld)

NPCC Lead for Football Policing, Chief Constable Mark Roberts, added: “Disorder is a problem that has not gone away, and throughout the whole of last season we saw an increase in crime at football matches across the country - from the Premier League right down to the National League.

“Following constructive talks with the Premier League, EFL and FA we are keen to support our partners in delivering their proposals – which include the introduction of stadium bans for people who enter the pitch, as well as those who use pyrotechnics. We are also pleased that the Government is adding Class A drugs offences to the banning order legislation. This will provide police with another option to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour by those who are under the influence of drugs.

“Anyone who commits a criminal offence either outside or inside a football ground can expect to face the consequences of their actions. The increase in arrests demonstrates that the police are taking positive action, working closely with the CPS. We collectively need to make football a safe environment for the overwhelming majority of supporters who just want to enjoy the game.”

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