No investigation into Ipswich Town training ground protest, police confirm

BlueAction

No crime was reported to the police over the incident at Ipswich Town's training ground - Credit: BlueAction1878 (Twitter)

Police have confirmed that no crime was reported and there will be no formal investigation into an independent supporters' group protest at Ipswich Town's training ground last week. 

Blue Action posted footage online of a small group of people letting off flares outside the perimeter fence at the club's Playford Road base on Monday, February 15

The frustrated group could be heard chanting, "we want Lambert out" during the mini demonstration, which caused Town's training session to be halted for 10 minutes. 

The incident made national headlines, with a young Town side subsequently playing out a 0-0 draw with struggling Northampton Town the following evening. 

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed that no crime had been reported and initial enquiries were made with "no positive outcomes" to date. 

Ipswich Town fans from Blue Action unveiled banners against the club's leadership at their League On

A previous Blue Action banner at Portman Road - Credit: TONY SOUTHGATE

Blue Action released a statement yesterday seeking to set the record straight over some of the media reports relating to the incident. 

The group said: "Contrary to numerous media reports, no flares or smoke bombs were thrown by anyone present at the protest. All pyrotechnics were handled responsibly, and we don't feel anybody inside the training ground was at risk of any danger. 

"We weren't aware of any 'signage' or other club property being damaged or catching fire during the protest, despite quotes being given to the Daily Mail by the club spokesperson, and that fact being relayed to us by the club themselves. 

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"Suffolk Constabulary informed us later in the week that although they were called to the scene, no crime was reported and, so subsequently, there was no police investigation. This is despite the club telling the group, and the national media, that there was."

The group, which released a statement in November calling for manager Paul Lambert to be sacked following a 3-0 home defeat to Hull, said it was standing by its actions and did not apologise for them.

The statement added: "We urge the club to look seriously at their position, both on and off the pitch, and the reasons why some fans are feeling compelled to take such actions." 

Blue Action poster

The mock front page labelling owner Marcus Evans' ownership as 'shameful' - Credit: Contributed

Blue Action had planned a protest to "send a clear message" to club owner Marcus Evans in January, but due to Covid-19 lockdown measures, the demonstration was cancelled. 

Then, following a 3-2 home loss to Swindon at the start of January, Blue Action tied a mock front page to the gates of Portman Road which labelled Marcus Evans' 13 years of ownership 'shameful'. 

A spokesman for Ipswich Town said the club was told by police at the time that enquiries were ongoing. 

He said there was some damage to signage inside the fencing caused by the flares but stressed the club made it clear it was not seeking further action. 

The spokesman added: "The club plan to hold forums with Blue Action, the official supporters group and other fans at Portman Road as soon as we are allowed to with Covid restrictions to discuss a full range of matters and Blue Action are aware of that invite and are keen to have dialogue."


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