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Police investigate after Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira is seen attacking Everton fan

Police were investigating today after Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira appeared to kick an Everton fan who repeatedly taunted him during a pitch invasion after their match on another shameful night for football.

The Everton supporter involved in the skirmish at Goodison Park last night had filmed himself abusing the Palace boss, shouting: ‘Suck on that, you muppet. Get in.’ The fan then gave Vieira the middle finger and cheered, before adding: ‘F*** off.’ But then Vieira eventually kicked out, sending the fan tumbling to the ground.

Thousands of people had run onto the pitch at Goodison Park last night after Everton’s extraordinary 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace helped Frank Lampard’s team avoid relegation from the Premier League. But Palace’s players and manager were left totally exposed and were not properly protected by stewards or police.

Now, Merseyside Police has revealed that officers are investigating. A force spokesman told MailOnline this morning: ‘Merseyside Police is investigating an altercation on the pitch at Goodison Park following the Everton v Crystal Palace match on Thursday. We are working with Everton FC to gather all available CCTV footage and are speaking to witnesses. No formal complaint has been received and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.’

It comes after a series of violent incidents following football matches this week, which also saw Swindon Town players attacked by Port Vale supporters celebrating their play-off semi-final victory on penalties last night.

As the season comes to a crescendo, Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs was jailed for 24 weeks yesterday for headbutting Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp on Tuesday after their Championship play-off semi-final. 

There was also violence at Northampton’s League Two play-off semi-final with Mansfield on Wednesday where a Cobblers fans threw a flare at opposition players after confronting them on the pitch when they went through. 

Luton Town boss Nathan Jones said he had been abused as Huddersfield Town fans ran on to celebrate their team’s Championship play-off semi-final win on Monday. And Everton fans were also accused of racially abusing the families of Brentford players when they lost 3-2 in another Premier League match last Sunday.

Meanwhile Nottinghamshire Police have arrested a man on suspicion of assault after a video appeared to show Sheffield United footballer Oli McBurnie stamping on a Forest fan during a pitch invasion following their match.

The incident involved McBurnie occurred when supporters invaded the pitch at the City Ground after Forest had beaten the Blades on penalties in the second leg of Tuesday night’s Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final. 

A video circulating on Twitter showed McBurnie, sidelined through injury, tangling with a supporter who had fallen to the ground. Forest fans had poured onto the pitch at the time in celebration after their side’s win secured.

Nottinghamshire Police have now said they have been ‘reviewing the contents’ of the clip, adding that a 25-year-old man ‘presented himself to police’ yesterday afternoon and was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Police would not confirm or deny the identity of the arrested man. Detective Inspector Nicholas Hall said: ‘We are working hard to understand the sequence of events depicted in this video and have now interviewed a suspect. As our investigation continues we would like to speak any other witnesses who have not yet come forward.’

The Football Association has also been investigating the video, with Sky Sports News reporting yesterday that McBurnie – who has denied the stamp – had been told to attend a meeting with police voluntarily or be arrested.

The clip, posted by Twitter user @brokenkingmusic, seems to capture the fan falling to the ground before 25-year-old McBurnie comes in with a stamp as he lays on the floor. After the Scotland international is pulled away by one of his colleagues, the fan then slowly returns to his feet at the end of the video. 

But McBurnie has instead suggested he was trying to step over the fan on the floor. On Wednesday night, he responded to a message on Twitter, posted by a Blades fan, which said: ‘Wish that video was in full context – looks more like he was trying to step over him with one bad leg! Could be wrong!’

McBurnie endorsed the tweet with a ‘100’ emoji – taken to mean he agreed 100 per cent – but said nothing else.

He also ‘liked’ a tweet posted by Blades’ assistant kit man Adam Geelan, which said: ‘Fan illegally enters the pitch provokes and tries to push Rian (Brewster) he defends himself and the kid falls on Oli’s broken foot can clearly see there’s no stamp, ridiculous post especially when stewards and police were stood there watching it happen and was left to ourselves to defend.’

As clubs were told to get a grip on invasions – and a police officer was even seen playing with a football next to young fans on the pitch at Goodison Park last night – it emerged:

  • Patrick Vieira faces an FA investigation after kicking out at a fan on the night Everton celebrated securing their Premier League status. He was taunted by several fans. After initially walking away from one supporter, who had been waving a phone in his face, Vieira turned back and made a grab for the youngster before kicking him to the ground;
  • Port Vale beat Swindon Town in a topsy-turvy penalty shootout in the League 2 playoff semi-final last night. But in the pitch invasion that followed, the unprotected Swindon team was surrounded by fans and a melee broke out;  
  • Brentford are preparing the biggest police operation in their history for Sunday’s final Premier League game of the season at home to Leeds amid fears that travelling fans will go on the rampage if relegated. The club’s special operation includes increasing the number of Met Police officers on duty from about 100 to 800;

The week’s events have led football bosses to threaten clubs with sanctions in an effort to curb the disgraceful behaviour which has plagued multiple tiers of the game this week. Clubs could face stadium closures as a result.

Patrick Vieira appeared to kick the supporter before other Everton fans stepped in after the Crystal Palace boss was isolated and unprotected

Fan footage shows a supporter making an obscene gesture in the face of Vieira

Patrick Vieira appeared to kick the supporter before other Everton fans stepped in after the Crystal Palace boss was isolated and unprotected (left). Fan footage shows a supporter making an obscene gesture in the face of Vieira (right) 

Patrick Vieira appeared to be involved in an incident with a fan after the 3-2 defeat to Everton

Patrick Vieira appeared to be involved in an incident with a fan after the 3-2 defeat to Everton

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton fans celebrate on the pitch following their side's victory as they avoid relegation after the Premier League match

Everton fans celebrate on the pitch following their side’s victory as they avoid relegation after the Premier League match

A visibly angry Vieira then turns to face the supporter who had got in his face on the pitch

The Palace boss first seemingly palmed off the fan who had been goading him on the pitch

A visibly angry Vieira then turns to face the supporter who had got in his face on the pitch (left). The Palace boss first seemingly palmed off the fan who had been goading him on the pitch (right) 

Everton fans celebrate the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League football match last night

Everton fans celebrate the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League football match last night

A steward plays football with Everton fans on the pitch after they run on following last night's match

A steward plays football with Everton fans on the pitch after they run on following last night’s match

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Vieira was targeted as he attempted to walk across the pitch following his side's defeat

Vieira was targeted as he attempted to walk across the pitch following his side’s defeat

Everton fans climb on the frame of the goal during a pitch invasion after the match to celebrate avoiding relegation

Everton fans climb on the frame of the goal during a pitch invasion after the match to celebrate avoiding relegation

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton fans celebrate the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League football match last night

Everton fans celebrate the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League football match last night

A police officer detains an Everton fan as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

A police officer detains an Everton fan as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Oli McBurnie video

Oli McBurnie video

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of assault after a video appeared to show Sheffield United footballer Oli McBurnie stamping on a Nottingham Forest fan during a pitch invasion following the play-off semi-final on Tuesday night

Oli McBurnie video

Oli McBurnie video

The incident involved McBurnie on Tuesday night occurred when supporters invaded the pitch at the City Ground after Forest had beaten the Blades on penalties in the second leg of Tuesday night’s Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final.

Sheffield United's Oliver McBurnie (pictured in another match against Hull City in February) was injured for Tuesday's game

Sheffield United’s Oliver McBurnie (pictured in another match against Hull City in February) was injured for Tuesday’s game

In the Premier League, Vieira is facing an FA investigation after appearing to kick out at a fan on the night Everton celebrated securing their Premier League status. Footage emerged of Vieira seeming to lash out at a home supporter who was part of a mass pitch invasion following the Toffees’ 3-2 comeback win last night.

The fan who was involved seemingly posted a video of the incident on Twitter with the footage showing someone putting a middle finger in the face of Vieira, who then reacts.

Asked about the incident after the match, Vieira said: ‘I’ve got nothing to say about that.’  Thousands of jubilant Everton supporters who had seen their side secure Premier League survival invaded the pitch after the match. 

Vieira, unaccompanied by staff or security, made his way across the pitch towards the away dressing room which is housed in the Park End car park as a result of Covid protocols.

Footage on Sky Sports showed the fan goading Vieira with what looked to be obscene gestures and the angry Palace boss reacted by lashing out, first with his hand before kicking the individual who had approached him.

Vieira was then seemingly shoved by another Everton fan before others stepped in to ensure the 45-year-old could leave the pitch safely.

Speaking on Sky Sports, pundit and former footballer Dion Dublin criticised the conduct of the fans and suggested he did not blame Vieira for responding.

‘We know how overjoyed the Everton fans are but you can’t be doing that. You can’t be pushing managers and pushing players, touching players and shouting in their faces,’ said Dublin.

A police officer detains an Everton fan as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

A police officer detains an Everton fan as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Harry Tyrer reacts after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

Harry Tyrer reacts after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

An Everton fan celebrates the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League match last night

An Everton fan celebrates the victory against Crystal Palace following the Premier League match last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night 

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Dominic Calvert-Lewin after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

Dominic Calvert-Lewin after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

Anthony Gordon reacts after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

Anthony Gordon reacts after the Premier League match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park last night

‘We know it is only one or two who spoiled it for everyone else. Having fans on the pitch is not the way forward. We need to stop letting fans, or allowing fans to get on the pitch. It is too dangerous.’

Everton manager Frank Lampard offered his support to Vieira following the incident.  ‘I feel for Patrick because I didn’t get to speak to him at the end because of how it all erupted for us,’ he said.

‘Of course, he is running across the pitch of 80 yards across a lot of our fans, so it is not easy. But there were no issues that I know of. If done in the right way, I am happy for fans to stay on the pitch and enjoy it. 

‘As long as everyone is behaving and we don’t see scenes like we did the other night, let them have their moment. It’s what football is all about. Are we going to handcuff them to their seats? As long as they behave, no problem.’

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton fans celebrate on the pitch after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Everton fans celebrate on the pitch after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Fan run on to the pitch and mob Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after the Premier League match at Goodison Park

Fan run on to the pitch and mob Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after the Premier League match at Goodison Park

Everton manager Frank Lampard offered support to Vieira after the match but said he had no problem with way fans behaved

Everton manager Frank Lampard offered support to Vieira after the match but said he had no problem with way fans behaved

Lampard suggested he had no problem with pitch invasions as long as fans 'behaved' after their victory on Thursday night

Lampard suggested he had no problem with pitch invasions as long as fans ‘behaved’ after their victory on Thursday night

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp was headbutted by a pitch-invading Forest fan on Wednesday after their clash with Forest

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was headbutted by a pitch-invading Forest fan on Wednesday after their clash with Forest

An Everton fan is spoken to by a steward at full-time following the Premier League match against Crystal Palace

An Everton fan is spoken to by a steward at full-time following the Premier League match against Crystal Palace

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night 

Fans mob Everton's Seamus Coleman after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Fans mob Everton’s Seamus Coleman after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Pitch invaders jump on Everton's Richarlison as he celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace last night

Pitch invaders jump on Everton’s Richarlison as he celebrates after scoring against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Frank Lampard, manager of Everton, celebrates following his side's victory as they avoid relegation last night

Frank Lampard, manager of Everton, celebrates following his side’s victory as they avoid relegation last night

Fans mob Everton's Seamus Coleman after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Fans mob Everton’s Seamus Coleman after the Premier League match at Goodison Park last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Jordan Pickford of Everton escorts a young fan off the pitch following Everton's third goal during the Premier League match

Jordan Pickford of Everton escorts a young fan off the pitch following Everton’s third goal during the Premier League match

Everton's players celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace

Everton’s players celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace

Everton manager Frank Lampard celebrates avoiding relegation from the Premier League after the match

Everton manager Frank Lampard celebrates avoiding relegation from the Premier League after the match

Richarlison (C) Anthony Gordon and Frank Lampard react after the Premier League match between Everton and Palace

Richarlison (C) Anthony Gordon and Frank Lampard react after the Premier League match between Everton and Palace 

It comes comes just hours after Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was jailed after he headbutted by a Nottingham Forest fan following a pitch invasion.

Robert Biggs, 30, of Derbyshire, was jailed for 24 weeks and also handed a 10-year football banning order after pleading guilty to assault at Nottingham Magistrate’s Court yesterday morning. 

The Nottingham Forest season ticket holder was one of hundreds of fans to invade the pitch following his team’s victory over Sheffield United on Tuesday night, which was won in a penalty shoot-out. 

The court heard how he had consumed ‘a quantity of alcohol’ before carrying out the ‘senseless act of violence’, which the judge said demanded a custodial sentence.

District Judge Grace Leong told Biggs that he would serve half of the 24-week sentence and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to Sharp – who earns £12,000 per week – as well as a £128 surcharge and £85 costs.

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton's Richarlison celebrates with fans during a pitch invasion as they avoid relegation from the Premier League

Everton’s Richarlison celebrates with fans during a pitch invasion as they avoid relegation from the Premier League

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans on the pitch after the match as they celebrate avoiding relegation from the Premier League last night

Everton fans celebrate with Jordan Pickford following their side's victory as they avoid relegation

Everton fans celebrate with Jordan Pickford following their side’s victory as they avoid relegation

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Fans invade the pitch to celebrate Dominic Calvert Lewin of Everton scoring their third goal during the Premier League match

Fans invade the pitch to celebrate Dominic Calvert Lewin of Everton scoring their third goal during the Premier League match

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton fans invade the pitch celebrating their third goal as Seamus Coleman and first team coach Chris Jones react

Everton fans invade the pitch celebrating their third goal as Seamus Coleman and first team coach Chris Jones react

Everton's fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

Everton’s fans invade the pitch to celebrate at the end of the Premier League football match against Crystal Palace last night

In a video, Sharp, who was left needing stitches, can be seen falling to the floor after being headbutted by Biggs following the Championship semi-final second leg play-off at the City Ground.

Biggs was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and going on to the playing area at a football match. 

The latter charge was dropped and he did not oppose an application for a football banning order during yesterday’s hearing.

The incident prompted football chiefs to threaten sanctions for clubs where fans behaved in a disorderly or violent manner following matches. 

If they are promoted, Nottingham Forest risk being forced to play their first Premier League game this century before a reduced capacity as a result of the incident after Tuesday’s play-off semi-final at the City Ground.

Clubs have been threatened with stadium bans after Nottingham Forest's pitch invasion led to violent scenes on Tuesday

Clubs have been threatened with stadium bans after Nottingham Forest’s pitch invasion led to violent scenes on Tuesday

The judge told Biggs (pictured in police mugshot) that he would serve half of the 24-week sentence and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to footballer Billy Sharp, as well as a £128 surcharge and £85 costs

Nottingham Forest fan Robert Biggs (pictured), 30, of Derbyshire, entered his guilty plea at Nottingham Magistrate's Court this morning after being held in custody overnight. He has been sentenced to 24 weeks' jail.

The judge told Robert Biggs (pictured, left, in police mugshot and right) that he would serve half of the 24-week sentence and ordered him to pay £500 compensation to footballer Billy Sharp, as well as a £128 surcharge and £85 costs

Northampton fans reportedly threw a flare towards Mansfield players after their playoff defeat on Wednesday night

Northampton fans reportedly threw a flare towards Mansfield players after their playoff defeat on Wednesday night

Ugly scenes: Two home fans broke onto the pitch at Sixfields after Mansfield got the better of their side on Wednesday

Ugly scenes: Two home fans broke onto the pitch at Sixfields after Mansfield got the better of their side on Wednesday

Security soon intervened when the supporters made a beeline for Mansfield players at the League Two clash on Wednesday

Security soon intervened when the supporters made a beeline for Mansfield players at the League Two clash on Wednesday

Meanwhile on Wednesday night, Northampton fans invaded the pitch and reportedly threw a flare towards Mansfield players after their defeat in the League Two playoff semi-finals.

The Cobblers were unable to overturn a 2-1 deficit in Wednesday’s second leg at Sixfields Stadium, instead losing 1-0 on the night and crashing out with a 3-1 aggregate defeat.

Yet a couple of their supporters did not take the elimination well, with two home fans somehow getting past stewards and onto the pitch before making a beeline for Mansfield stars.

One appeared to confront Stags striker Jordan Bowery, while The Sun reported that a flare was even thrown at the visiting side.

As well as the ugly scenes at Goodison Park yesterday, pitch-invading Port Vale supporters appeared to punch Swindon players following their League Two play-off semi-final victory.

What should have been a night to savour for the Port Vale ended in disgrace when home fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their victory and then appeared to throw punches towards crestfallen Swindon players.

Sky Sports cameras captured the moment Vale fans became embroiled in an altercation with opposition players on the pitch, with punches seemingly thrown during the melee.

Port Vale fans appeared to punch Swindon players (bottom right) after their League Two playoff semi-final

Port Vale fans appeared to punch Swindon players (bottom right) after their League Two playoff semi-final

But a pitch invasion after the game turned sour when Swindon players were attacked

But a pitch invasion after the game turned sour when Swindon players were attacked

Jack Payne, Ben Gladwin and Jake O’Brien appear to have be the three Swindon stars targeted by the fans, before security soon intervened to pull them away from the trouble.

Sky Sports pundit Danny Gabbidon said: ‘What we’re seeing now, those stewards really need to get the Swindon players down the tunnel and away from some of these fans. 

‘Some unsavoury scenes we never like to see. Some Port Vale fans goading those Swindon Town players who are reluctant to get off the field of play. Harry McKirdy was escorted off quickly as a few Port Vale tried to get to him. Unsavoury scenes which will mar a fantastic night for Port Vale.’

Swindon boss Garner said after the match that he and his players felt ‘afraid for their safety’ as the opposition’s fans punched and kicked the Robins on the pitch.

Garner also said: ‘What they have had to put up with coming off that pitch… players have been physically and verbally abused. I know I’ve seen it in some of the other play-off games, I don’t know where we’re going as a country, it’s absolutely disgusting.’

Scenes got heated after Port Vale's semi-final victory over Swindon Town on Thursday night as fans confronted players

Scenes got heated after Port Vale’s semi-final victory over Swindon Town on Thursday night as fans confronted players

Pictured: Port Vale fans invade the pitch after the final penalty saw them secure a playoff victory on Thursday night

Pictured: Port Vale fans invade the pitch after the final penalty saw them secure a playoff victory on Thursday night

Thousands of fans invaded the pitch after Everton secured their Premier League survival

Thousands of fans invaded the pitch after Everton secured their Premier League survival

Calvert-Lewin was pictured in the middle of the pitch invasion after his vital header

Calvert-Lewin was pictured in the middle of the pitch invasion after his vital header

Swindon right-back Mandela Egbo took to Twitter to lambast Vale fans after the invasion, accusing them of throwing punches but only managing a ‘scratch’.

Along with a selfie which shows a scratch on his nose, Egbo wrote: ‘How you scummy fans get two free shots and only manage a scratch? And I’m supposed to keep my cool – if I react I’m the bad guy right?’

In response to the series of violent incidents, EFL have chiefs threatened clubs with stadium closures and points deductions on Wednesday night, saying in a statemen after the trouble at Forest: ‘We recognise this lawlessness is being conducted by a small minority of individuals and the majority attending matches are a credit to their club.

‘However, it is not acceptable for fans to enter the field of play at any time given the EFL’s objective is to ensure our matches remain safe and welcoming for all. This summer we will consider what further measures are at our disposal, including the potential use of capacity reductions or similar mitigations. Punitive action will follow for those who continue to disregard ground regulations and break the law at matches.’

After Jack Grealish, then at Aston Villa, was punched by a fan at Birmingham in March 2019, the FA warned of increased penalties. Martin Glenn, chief executive at the time, wrote: ‘The FA has the power to take disciplinary action for spectators or unauthorised persons encroaching on to the pitch. In addition, we will be looking into what further action may be necessary going forward.’

Under FA Rule E20b, clubs face anything from a warning through to stadium closure and points deductions if found guilty of failing to take adequate action.

The PFA said: ‘We are shocked and appalled. Security and fan disorder need to be reviewed, and we will be raising player safety with clubs, leagues and the UK Football Policing Unit. There is no place in football for this.’

** Do you know the Everton fan involved in the skirmish with Patrick Vieira? Email tips@dailymail.com ** 

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