Everton have issued safety advice to supporters travelling to Hajduk Split in wake of the trouble that marred last week’s Europa League play-off first leg.
The Toffees gained first-hand experience of Split’s infamous Torcida Ultras during the first half of Thursday’s game at Goodison Park.
A number of Hajduk Split broke chairs, threw missiles, pushed over advertising hoardings, tried to run onto the pitch and enter the Everton section.
The game was briefly stopped by the referee and the Hajduk Split players urged their own fans to calm down.
Police and stewards quickly restored order, though groups of supporters continued to fight amongst each other.
Hajduk fans at Everton tonight. (Via @Ebenezergood) pic.twitter.com/eh0vQoEGGV— Away Days Videos (@AwayDaysVideos) August 17, 2017
The unsavoury scenes have understandably raised concerns ahead of this week’s second leg in Croatia, with Evertonians expected to travel in great number.
As such Everton have taken the unusual step of issuing some rather stark warnings to any supporters making the trip.
Fans are advised not to wear club colours before or after the game or display flags in any public area.
They are also advising all supporters to gather at a designated fanzone near Zvoncac Park where coaches will shuttle fans to and from the stadium escorted by police.
Fans travelling by car, coach or minibus are also advised to wait for a police escort before travelling towards the stadium.
Though the police are there to provide protection, they are not to be messed with.
Everton are warning that police will not hesitate to arrest any fans for anti-social behaviour and even issue on-the-spot fines.
After the game supporters won’t be able to leave the stadium for around 40 minutes when they will be expected to make their own way back to the city centre.
There are also the usual warnings about pyrotechnics and throwing of missiles.
Thankfully, the vast majority of travelling Everton supporters are extremely well behaved but it seems on this occasion they need to be extra vigilant.
It seems any show of partisan support could spark a violent reaction from the home fans, who it seems need little encouragement for violence.
Lets hope all the travelling Toffees have fun but more importantly come back unscathed.
Stay safe blues.