A Sun investigation has found that football thugs are driving a terrifying increase in violence in stadiums due to high levels of cocaine.
Every field we swabbed had traces of a Class A drug, which led to embarrassing scenes at Wembley in July’s showpiece Euro 2020 final.
Police chiefs are now calling for stricter punishments for cocaine users on the grounds—including overuse sanctions—in a bid to prevent a return to felony convictions seen in the 1980s.
Britain’s top football cop, Chief Constable Mark Roberts, warned that more fans than ever were taking the drug at games, creating a “toxic mix” of violence.
He added: “As we see more violent incidents, cocaine along with alcohol is one of the factors that will make it worse, and make people more violent.”
One supporter even said that cocaine is so high in football that fans even smell it in their seats.
We found lines racked at the top of loo roll holders at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, while our reporter was offered a “Charlie” outside Brighton match earlier this month.
At The Etihad – the home of Premier League champions Manchester City – a cubicle containing empty drug bags and one cocaine were found on the floor. Traces of the drug were also found on toilets at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
Our findings come after an FA report last month suggested that cocaine was the catalyst for the thousands of ticketless fans attacking Wembley for the England-Italy Euro final.
Fans were openly snorting the drug at the showpiece event, with a yob bragging to the Sun about how he put a burnt glow in his bum during a 15-hour drug-fueled bender.
Charlie Perry, 25, claimed how he “beaten a load of powder” during the big day and then stopped flaring in footage that went viral.
Just before the pandemic, cocaine use was blamed for a 45 percent increase in football fields over the past two years – including violence, pitch attacks and attacks on players.
However, police and fans say more coke is being sniffed at the grounds than ever before – which was supported by our investigation. Sun reporter Liam Coleman used cocaine detection wipes on surfaces in Man City, Spurs, Brighton, Chelsea and Arsenal this month – with 44 of the 58 swab cubicles tested positive for cocaine.
Roberts told The Sun Club that they are looking at installing specialist surfaces in the toilets to pick up drugs as well as bring in more sniffer dogs.
more cocaine than ever
However, the officer – the head of the football police for England and Wales – acknowledged that the users were hard to catch.
He added: “Cocaine is now more common in a wider society than ever before, and this includes football clubs and football fans.
“It’s an issue with society, but that being said, it’s obviously going to affect football as well.
“Where people are high on emotions that you get in football, and then you add in cocaine use, it’s a very toxic mix of how people behave and it often leads to extreme violence.”
He wants a football ban order for anyone caught with drugs in a field. Violating one of them is a criminal offense punishable by up to six months in prison.
There are currently around 1,400 orders active across the UK, but Mr Roberts believes a bigger push will see a drop in drug use.
Obviously it’s really hard for the police, unless you do full body searches on people
Chief Constable Mark Roberts
However, he continued: “Frankly, it’s really difficult for the police, unless you do a whole body search on people, and even then you won’t be able to find it anyway.
“It’s something that’s easy to smuggle into the ground.
“People take it with caution, maybe easier than drinking a pint, so hopefully we’ll work with the clubs and identify ways to make it a little harder for fans to take drugs.
“Has he pouring fluid on the toilet cistern, checking regularly and there are sniffer dogs in every field.” The recommendations of the Euro 2020 report included stronger police powers against the use of illegal drugs.
The Independent Review by former Government Drugs Tsar Baroness Casey criticized thousands of football fans as being “induced by alcohol and drugs”.
Experts from Oxford University have confirmed that cocaine use makes supporters more aggressive in football matches.
‘Pumping in the Stand’
A survey showed that more than 30 percent of fans had seen cocaine being taken inside stadiums – with six percent admitting to personal use.
However, of the 2,663 regulated matches in England and Wales throughout the 2019-20 season, only 103 reported drug possession or use, with the vast majority – 81 per cent – involving cocaine.
One fan claimed that cocaine use was common before and during games, despite clubs promising to take tougher measures on bringing the drug to the field.
The supporter, who does not wish to be named, told The Sun: “You see huge queues in the toilets, you see them banging on the keys in the stands, or just with their hands. it’s everywhere.
“I’ve never known it this way before, and it seems to keep getting worse and worse.”
All the clubs where we found traces of drugs told The Sun that they condemned its use. Several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, said they had sniffer dogs in every match and fans were searched using safety sticks before entering the field.
Another Premier League club said they use dogs outside the turnstiles for every game and on occasions outside the home turnstile.
Ground rules clearly state that drugs are prohibited and measures such as dog detection are often used to combat this
Premier League spokesperson
Tottenham Hotspur owners described the drug issue as a “social problem” and said it takes a zero-tolerance approach to drugs at the stadium.
The club, where a fan was photographed snorting a line of cocaine on the pitch in 2017, also said that it works closely with the Metropolitan Police on drug-related issues, and to prevent those found with illegal substances. Anyone who has been banned is banned.
Meanwhile, owners of Brighton and Hove Albion said it was “increasingly concerned” about the use of cocaine in matches.
The club said: “We will continue to take all necessary and possible steps to prevent the entry of any illegal substance into our stadium, and we will prevent any person carrying or using any illegal substance in or around our stadium.” But will continue to impose very strict restrictions.”
The Premier League said it also condemns the use of drugs in stadiums, and its clubs are working with the police to tackle the problem. A spokesperson said: “The possession or use of cocaine is a criminal offense and may result in an order banning football. The ground rules clearly state that the drugs are prohibited and to combat this, such as dog detection. measures are often used.
“Our clubs continue to work closely with the police on this issue.”
Coke and alcohol go hand in hand with violence
A Premier League club supporter said fans could spend up to £300 a week on drugs for each match.
The season ticket holder, who wanted to hide his identity, said: “As the class gets more popular, there’s more talk for it these days. It’s beer, coke as much as possible, everyone bang on it Has been doing.
“It’s the only thing that will straighten you up after a day on alcohol, it’s just what you need.
“You don’t need pills, you’ll start loving people. Coke and alcohol go hand in hand with violence, that’s what we all want.
“It’s also just the nature of football. You get bored all day, and then gear up.”
The fan added: “They get it in bulk. If it’s a home game you’re more likely to get a few grams, but in the distant days you’re talking too much.
“I know people who go with their kids and they still do it.
“It’s so easy to get both inside and outside the ground
“Football is like going to the club, but during the day, and spending all day with close friends and they share the same passion, that brings you closer together.
“If you’re sharing all the gear and wine, it brings you closer together.
“As long as they are not sent behind bars like goons for years, it is not going to make any difference.”