Adelaide United’s stadium bans Melbourne Victory fans

Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium, fearing fan violence, is banning Melbourne Victory fans from A-League Men’s matches against Adelaide United.

Adelaide Venue Management, operators of Coopers Stadium in Hindmarsh, says past matches between the clubs have been marred by “violent and riotous behaviour”.

Adelaide Venue Management chief executive Anthony Kirchner says he met last March with police, Adelaide United and A-League’s managers Australian Professional Leagues.

“Security footage was presented to the APL and Adelaide United highlighting our concerns,” Kirchner said in a statement on Thursday.

“And we requested that the APL provide us with further tangible initiatives to support improved safety at these high-risk fixtures despite the already far-reaching risk management strategies implemented.”

Visits from Victory games added “extraordinary additional venue security and police resources”, he said.

“Sadly, the APL did not respond and has ignored our concerns,” Kirchner said.

“Consequently, stadium management has been left with no choice but to continue to prohibit Melbourne Victory supporters from Coopers Stadium in the interest of public safety until further notice.

“It is important to acknowledge that Melbourne Victory supporters are not solely responsible for the violent behaviour and safety issues at these matches.

“Many Adelaide United ‘casuals’ attend this fixture each season with the core purpose of engaging in high-risk behaviour and provoking Melbourne Victory supporters, police and security.”

Victory are next due to play at the stadium on March 9 next year.

“There’s plenty of time to resolve this matter if the APL works with us to devise and implement improved safety measures,” Kirchner said.

“There is also the option of the APL utilising … Adelaide Oval where additional safety measures may be more easily introduced, given its larger size, to separate and control opposing unruly fans.”