Fans’ group against nets to stop missiles

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FANS’ leaders claim erecting netting to prevent missiles being thrown at players would be a knee-jerk reaction.

Rio Ferdinand was injured by a coin thrown by a fan during the Manchester derby on Sunday and Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes there is a case for putting netting up around certain areas of the pitch to protect players.

But Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF), feels that is unnecessary and said arrests at grounds have dropped by almost a quarter over the last year.

Clarke said: “Netting is not something we feel is necessary to have.

No-one condones the throwing of missiles but arrests last season were 24 per cent down on previous seasons and not many social phenomena alter that much. It is undoubtedly improving and I think, before we start making knee-jerk reactions to particular incidents, we ought to bear that in mind.”

Clarke hopes supporters will