West Ham and Millwall have been hit with a total of seven Football Association charges between them following the crowd trouble that marred their Carling Cup match last month.
A Millwall supporter was stabbed as fans clashed outside the east London ground and pitch invasions by West Ham fans followed each of their side’s goals in the 3-1 extra-time win.
Both clubs are alleged to have taken insufficient action to stop missile throwing and violent, threatening and racist behaviour at Upton Park.
West Ham’s Carlton Cole and Millwall’s Jason Price also alleged they were racially abused by supporters.
West Ham say they will take a close look at each of the charges levelled against them though they are expected to mount a robust defence.
A club spokesman said:
In advance of the Millwall match, the club followed the strict advice of the relevant authorities at every stage of the planning process.
That full co-operation continued on the night, with the club working closely with police on a carefully set-out plan that was initiated and approved by the independent safety advisory group.
We do acknowledge the appalling behaviour of a minority of fans inside the stadium and, in conjunction with police, will continue to take strong and appropriate action against anyone found responsible.
Millwall are also expected to contest the charges. They issued a statement reading:
We maintain we did everything in our power in regard to ticketing arrangements for this game. We expressed our concerns in advance about ticket allocations and arrangements in general.
It was widely acknowledged that none of our supporters came on to the pitch and indeed the behaviour and forbearance of our fans brought praise from media observers on the night.
Our question for the Football Association is what can Millwall Football Club do to control individuals’ actions once inside our opponents’ stadium?