Eddie Howe calls for managers and players to be protected from pitch-invading supporters

Eddie Howe calls for managers and players to be protected to prevent a ‘potential TRAGEDY’ after Billy Sharp and Patrick Vieira were confronted by pitch-invading fans… as the Newcastle boss admits he is worried ahead of final day clash against Burnley

  • Several pitch invasions have occurred in recent days in English football
  • Billy Sharp was head-butted by a fan, while Patrick Vieira kicked out at a fan
  • Eddie Howe is worried something disastrous could happen if things continue 
  • He has called for improved security to keep managers and players safe  







Newcastle boss Eddie Howe fears pitch-invading supporters confronting managers and players could lead to a ‘tragedy’ and has concerns for his own safety at former club Burnley on Sunday.

With the Clarets set to learn their Premier League fate, it is anticipated that home fans will enter the Turf Moor pitch regardless of the outcome.

Howe and Newcastle are aware that the dugouts are on the opposite side of the stadium to the tunnel leading back to the dressing-room, and they are seeking urgent reassurance over security arrangements.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is concerned by the actions of pitch invaders in recent days

The incidents this week involving Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, head-butted by a Nottingham Forest fan who has since been jailed, and Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira, who kicked an Everton fan after being goaded at Goodison Park, have brought the safety of managers and players into focus.

Howe said: ‘It’s the aggression towards the opposition, it’s swarms of people around one or two people that doesn’t sit well with me at all.

‘We have to act very quickly because we want to avert potential tragedy. We have to find a way to guarantee that safety, to avert a potential disaster.

‘The scenes at Nottingham Forest were shocking, and at Everton as well. I thought it (Vieira incident) was hugely concerning. I’m not going to lie and sit on the fence and brush it off. I thought it was a concerning moment for everyone connected to football. You can’t condone the (Vieira) reaction, but I think he’s been put in a very, very difficult situation.

Billy Sharp was attacked by a pitch-invading Nottingham Forest fan on Tuesday night

Patrick Vieira kicked out an Everton fan after being confronted on Thursday at Goodison Park

‘We’re going into dangerous territory where something could happen in a game that has terrible consequences.’

Of his own safety at Burnley, where he spent nearly two years a decade ago, Howe said: ‘The logistics of the stadium, unfortunately, mean you don’t have a quick exit from my perspective as the manager and the coaching staff. I obviously know the stadium well and that is a concern.

‘I hope things are put in place that we can guarantee the safety of, not just me, but my players. It’s sad to think that we have to do that when we’re concentrating on a game, but we’re well aware of the situation.’

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