Author Topic: The role of a football steward...  (Read 17034 times)

Offline Edwatch_Winston_Malone

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The role of a football steward...
« on: February 04, 2013, 12:46:52 PM »
There is a lot of confusion as to the role of football stewards and the training that they recieve.  In general they are safety stewards (often they have that written on their back) and their primary role is to get you out safely in the event of the need for an evacuation.  90% of the stewards are not there to intervene in crowd issues and are not trained to do that role.

The vast majority of the stewards have no radio contact with their supervisor or the Safety Officer.  Unless they are paired up, they are not permitted to leave their position.  The positions are agreed with the LBH&F and should a LBH&F licensing officer (they regularly attend out games and are identifiable by their LBH&F Hi Vis jackets) find a stewarding position unattended whilst the stadium is open to the public, the club will be subject to sanction.

Stewards in general are on a very low wage and after paying their own traveling costs and buying their own lunch (and in some cases uniform) and being taxed they don't get a lot of money.  Not enough money to intervene in a dispute and risk being assaulted!!  The low pay is another factor in why there is such a high turnover in stewards and why most clubs resort to agency stewards.

There are teams of stewards that are there to intervene in crowd disturbances and they are often identified as such on their Hi Vis jackets, these team have radios.  Their remit is to attend disturbances upon the instruction of the Safety Officer.  They will not intervene until they have been instructed.  They only get this instruction once the Safety Officer and / or police (if present) have the area involved under CCTV monitoring.  Then they can identify any one who needs an "intervention" and gather evidence for a banning order or prosecution.

The modern day cameras can get very clear pictures of you in just about all public areas of the stadium.  These can be used against  reference pictures taken of each section of the ground early on in the game.  This exercise is used to match somebody they are interested in, against a picture of them seated in their seat, which can be used to identify them via their seat booking information.

At Fulham, I believe they are also able to send CCTV stills to iPads carried by steward supervisors so that trouble makers can be easily identified at site.

Whilst there is a lot of technology and organisation involved, it doesn't often help the individual safety steward in the short term and this set up means that it is not easy for safety stewards to do a job that many think they should be doing.  

If you need anything sorted you are better seeking out the supervisor (they are clearly identified on their Hi Vis jackets) because they are trained and equipped for dealing with crowd issues.

As in all walks of life there are some people who go beyond their remit but generally the stewards remit is strictly limited.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 03:21:39 PM by Edward_Winston_Malone »

Offline Stevie_FFC

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Re: The role of a football steward...
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 02:06:30 PM »
The positions are agreed with the LBH&F and should a LBH&F licensing officer (they regularly atend out games and are identifyable by their LBH&F Hi Vis jackets) find a stewarding position unattended whilst the stadium is open to the public, the club will be subject to sanction.

Interesting read. All around the ground at each stairwell is 2 stewards. On Saturdays game against Man Utd most of the Putney End only had 1 steward.

A Supervisor shouldn't take 10 minutes to arrive and when there has been physical contact between people in the stand the police that arrive (15 minutes later) shouldn't just be sent away.

In the neutral area of the ground where you have a mix of home and away supporters the possibility of a scuffle is escalated. Surely this should warrant the deployment of stewards that are trained to intervene, or at least radioed in to receive help faster.

Offline Edwatch_Winston_Malone

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Re: The role of a football steward...
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 03:15:51 PM »
The stewarding positions that cannot be vacated are called designated positions, (those with long memories may remember seeing a large spot with a number on it painted on the floor in various places at Craven Cottage, before the redevelopment) there may only be one of these at each vomitory.  There may be 2 stewards positioned there for customer service, or other reasons.

In general the police won't get involved unless it gets beyond 'handbags' as although they are paid for by the club, they don't feel that they have a customer service role only a public order role.

If they nick somebody, they have to accompany them to the nick and so there is one less policeman in the ground, which is not beneficial.  

Not sure about supervisor response but there is probably only two supervisors per stand and they have a roving role.

It would make sense to station the police and / or intervention teams in areas with greater potential risk but in my experience the police station themselves in areas with greatest tea making potential...
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 03:17:41 PM by Edward_Winston_Malone »


Offline The Enclosurite

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Re: The role of a football steward...
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 03:45:58 PM »
It strikes me though that the stewards are not drilled on the procedure to report a problem to the correct person that can actually deal with it.  They just stand there with a blank expression that suggests they don't have a clue - I think that is what really gets to people and fuels the anger towards them.

Offline Jimpav

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Re: The role of a football steward...
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 08:42:22 PM »
It strikes me though that the stewards are not drilled on the procedure to report a problem to the correct person that can actually deal with it.  They just stand there with a blank expression that suggests they don't have a clue - I think that is what really gets to people and fuels the anger towards them.

Given the average age of stewards and level of pay they receive can you blame stewards for being stand offish or not dealing with altercations.

They are after all stewards and not security or police.

I have never felt unsafe at a Fulham match.

Offline The Enclosurite

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Re: The role of a football steward...
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 09:30:31 PM »
Exactly my point.  They should be told how to escalate something to the appropriate person who is capable of dealing with any problem that arises.