- 6 October 2001
ROY CARROLL yesterday claimed he told stewards at Everton he feared for his safety before being hit on the head by a coin hurled from the crowd - only for them to laugh at his warning.
Everton will face the full wrath of the FA following crowd disturbances and can expect a minimum £50,000 fine.
A mobile phone and other objects were also thrown at the Manchester United goalkeeper in the first incident of a weekend of security breaches.
Spectators ran on to the pitch three times during Burnley's draw with Blackburn - while in Scotland, Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen needed a stitch to a head wound caused by a cigarette lighter thrown during his side's 2-0 win over Celtic.
Carroll's statement to police about stewards laughing at his warning will make Everton's situation more serious.
But they will be spared punishment beyond a fine because the majority of fans behaved themselves on a day when the temperature for the FA Cup tie at Goodison Park was raised by Wayne Rooney's return.
However, violent scenes after the game left five police officers injured and led to more than 30 arrests and may result in a ban on 5.30pm kick-offs.
Referee Rob Styles will mention three separate incidents to the FA.
He said: "I can confirm Roy Carroll was struck by an object, and I will make my report to the Football Association in the usual manner."
Following the crowd trouble, Sports Minister Richard Caborn led calls for another review of early-evening starts for high-profile matches.
"We may well have to rethink the 5.30pm kick-off," he said. "We know it's done predominately for television, but we might have to reflect on that.
"It's a minority of fans who are bringing the game into disrepute, and we have to deal with that.
"It's a police decision and for clubs to make sure games which are going to be of some tension are perhaps played earlier in the day."
The FA head of media, Adrian Bevington, said: "We work with all relevant parties, including the local police force, when arranging kick-off times and have never arranged a kick-off time without full agreement and approval of any local police force.
"We have, of course, seen many FA Cup ties played at 5.30 successfully without any problems in recent years."
Police have clear TV pictures of the coin-thrower and Everton communications director Ian Ross promised a life ban if the man who "tainted the name of Everton Football Club" was identified. He urged fans who knew the culprit's name to tell police.
MARK HUGHES feared for his players’ safety when a Burnley fan threatened Robbie Savage and Brad Friedel.
It was the third time pitch-side security was breached in the stormy North Lancashire derby at Turf Moor.
Blackburn boss Hughes admitted it was a chilling moment and said: “What if he’d had a weapon with him.
“God forbid, he could have been carrying a knife. That sort of thing should not happen in this day and age.
“With all the increased policing and stewarding in place, that was disappointing.
“For three people to encroach on the pitch was poor.”
Burnley chief executive Dave Edmondson insisted they took every precaution to prevent trouble at a derby where the fans have a fanatical hate for each other.
All police leave was cancelled and the Clarets also drafted in SIXTY extra stewards.
Edmondson said: “If someone does this as a pre-planned thing, it’s almost impossible to stop them.
“We will not hesitate to take action. We’ve imposed life bans before — and we mean life.”
Both clubs will meet police ahead of the replay at Ewood Park on March 2.
It seems to have been one of those weekends, is there anything that can be done to stop this kind of thing happening or will it only increase?CELTIC could face an SFA probe after Rangers captain Fernando Ricksen was struck by a cigarette lighter as his team burst their five-year Parkhead hoodoo.
The Dutchman required a stitch to his eyebrow after being felled while clapping the away support as he prepared to take a corner in the closing stages of yesterday's 2-0 win.
And, after a weekend of high-profile missile--throwing incidents - which saw Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll and Burnley's Jean-Louis Valois hit by coins - - Scotland's authorities are almost certain to investigate yesterday's Old Firm flashpoint.
Celtic manager Martin O'Neill was quick to condemn the loutish attack.
He said: 'Naturally, you wouldn't want that to happen to anybody and that would be disappointing if something was thrown at one of the players.
'In fact, it would be more than disappointing. I don't mind people having plenty of passion but keep it within the laws of the game.'
Ricksen's team-mate Gregory Vignal - who scored the first goal as Rangers broke an 11game streak without a derby win in Glasgow's East End - handed an object to referee Mike McCurry.
He said: 'Fernando was not hit by a coin. It was a lighter. It was a stupid thing to do.'
But manager Alex McLeish played down the incident, which was reminiscent of the attack on referee Hugh Dallas who was left bloodied and dazed after being floored by a flying coin during the infamous Old Firm shame game of 1999.
McLeish said: 'It's not an incident unique to Scotland. The crowd were generally very well behaved but unfortunately sometimes these things happen.
'If Luis Figo can have a pig's head thrown at him then I suppose anything can happen at a football match.
'I don't want to make a big fuss about it. Fernando played extremely well today and showed his commitment and his bravery.'
Match commander chief superintendent Kevin Smith of Strathclyde Police confirmed an investigation has been launched into the incident.
He said: 'Following the Celtic v Rangers game at Celtic Park today, I can confirm there were a total of 30 arrests in and around the stadium.
'Twelve of these were for offences of religious prejudice, one was for a racist offence and the remaining were for other minor offences.
'We are aware of a further incident that took place during the second half of today's game and are continuing enquiries into this, as well as using CCTV footage to assist in identifying those responsible.'
Yesterday's win leaves Rangers three points clear at the top of the table although Celtic have a game in hand.
Both managers now believe the title race is set to go all the way to May - in a repeat of the dramatic 2002-03 season which saw Rangers clinch the crown by a single goal on the last day of the campaign.
O'Neill said:'It gives Rangers the edge because they are ahead on goal difference and are three points clear. We have to try to win our game in hand to join them. It's reminiscent of the 2002-03 season.'
The Celtic boss was left to curse another big-game goalkeeping cock-up by Scotland No.1 Rab Douglas, who scooped Vignal's 70th-minute shot into the back of his own net before being lobbed by Nacho Novo.
Douglas, set to play for Scotland against Italy next month, now looks odds on to be axed once again by his club.
But O'Neill said: 'Rab has been playing very well and playing with a lot of confidence.He's obviously disappointed but there is no point in going into any charges or whatever the case maybe at this moment.
'We spurned some decent chances in the first half but I thought we could go on to win.
'But in the second half we never really played. Rangers came out and dominated affairs for the first 15 minutes.
'Despite that their goalkeeper made a fantastic save from John Hartson and within a minute or two at the other end they scored what, from our viewpoint, was a poor goal.'
I know that fans can be banned if they are picked out from the CCTV footage but that is only after an incident has happened, can this kind of thing be prevented before it happens or is it one of those things?