Aston Villa Fans Reported for Hate Crimes More Than Any Others in 2019/20

Nov 24, 2020, 10:15 AM GMT
Aston Villa fans were reported over alleged hate crimes 13 times in 2019/20 | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Aston Villa fans were reported for alleged hate crimes than supporters of any other English club last season in data that has been released by the Home Office.

Villa fans were reported 13 times during the course of 2019/20, with supporters of Wolves, Leeds and Tottenham the subject of 10 reports each. Chelsea fans were reported nine times.

Kick It Out continues to campaign against discrimination in football | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

The UK Football Policing unit collates the data from reports submitted by the FA or anti-discrimination campaign group Kick It Out. It is also the first time that online data has been included in the figures.

Overall, 319 football hate crimes were reported last season from 287 games, although there were only four in June and July during ‘Project Restart’ when the Premier League and Championship campaign were completed in empty stadiums after a three-month pause.

Of the 13 reports against Villa fans, seven were race related, while there were five to do with sexual orientation and one about religion.

Home Office figures released in September previously revealed that 75% of reported incidents last season were related to race – 214 of the 287 games where reports were made. However, not every incident was limited to just one form of hate or discrimination.

Crystal Palace v Leeds United - Premier League
No room for racism continues to adorn Premier League shirts | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Arrests for racist and indecent chanting last season were more than double what they were in 2018/19, leaping from 14 to 35. That figure was 33 for the 2014/15 season, but as low as seven for the 2016/17 campaign.

The jump in arrests relating to chanting is more stark given that 319 games were cancelled lower down the league ladder and over 200 were played behind closed doors.

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