Manchester police in the UK have offered to assist in the compilation of a report on the treatment of Bolton fans by Spanish police during the club’s UEFA Cup game against Atletico Madrid.
The club complained that fans were “subjected to a number of assaults and unprovoked baton charges before, during, and after the game” at the Vicente Calderon in the Spanish capital – where Bolton earned a 0-0 draw to qualify for the last 16.
Bolton have lodged an official complaint with UEFA about the incident, and GMP released the following statement today: “Following the trouble at the match between Bolton and Atletico Madrid last night, Thursday, February 21 2008, Greater Manchester Police have been in discussions with the club and Consulate, and will assist in completing a comprehensive report in order to present all the facts to UEFA.
“GMP had a senior police officer present at the match, Chief Superintendent David Lea, who praised the conduct of the fans and has raised his concerns about the conduct of Spanish officers with his counterparts in Madrid.
“Greater Manchester Police works closely with our colleagues in Europe to share best practice for the policing of fixtures.”
The statement issued earlier by the club read: “The directors of Bolton Wanderers Football Club are upset and disturbed at the apparent over-zealous and disproportionate actions of the Spanish police towards our supporters during Thursday night’s UEFA Cup return leg at Atletico Madrid.
“The club’s fans were subjected to a number of assaults and unprovoked baton charges before, during, and after the game, in addition to the aggressive use of police horses to manoeuvre fans towards the Vicente Calderon stadium.
“Bolton Wanderers has launched an official protest with UEFA and its security delegates, who witnessed the behaviour of the local police force, and the club is currently in liaison with the Greater Manchester Police and the British Embassy to ascertain further information.
“Bolton Wanderers supporters have an impeccable reputation and an excellent record of good behaviour when travelling abroad to European matches, and the club believes the actions of the Madrid police are entirely unacceptable.”
UEFA have so far been unavailable for comment.