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The recently released statistics have brought to light the concerning behaviour exhibited by football fans during the 2022-23 season. The surge in arrests at football matches has reached levels last seen almost a decade ago, painting a troubling picture of fan conduct that demands attention.

A staggering 2,264 individuals were apprehended for football-related incidents during this period, marking a worrying escalation compared to previous years. Among these arrests, a substantial portion—200 cases, to be precise—involved the possession of class A drugs, highlighting the severity and diversity of misconduct prevalent among certain fan bases.

The Home Office has compiled data that reveals Manchester United as the club whose fans have exhibited the most appalling behaviour, with 69 banning orders issued to its supporters, rendering them ineligible to attend regulated matches in the UK.

Millwall follows closely behind with 66 banning orders, while Leicester, Birmingham City, and West Ham occupy subsequent positions on this disheartening roster.

Football worst behaved clubs
West Ham United was the club with the largest number of fans arrested at games during 2022-23

Moreover, delving into arrest figures paints a disturbing picture, with West Ham United leading the pack with 89 fans detained during the season. Astonishingly, a significant majority—69 per cent—of these arrests occurred within the confines of the London Stadium, shedding light on the challenges faced in ensuring safety and orderliness within football arenas.

Despite its illustrious history, Manchester United finds itself in the unenviable position of second place in fan arrests, with 83 individuals apprehended during the same period. This trend also permeates other clubs, with Leeds United, Manchester City, Tottenham, and Arsenal all grappling with their fair share of fan misconduct.

It's worth noting that the alarming escalation in football-related arrests isn't confined solely to domestic matches; incidents involving supporters of the England and Wales national teams have also witnessed a troubling uptick. Such behaviour tarnishes the sport's reputation and poses significant safety concerns for players, officials, and fellow spectators alike.

Regrettably, recent events such as the suspension of an FA Cup quarter-final match due to violence in the stands and the subsequent investigations and charges laid against clubs serve as poignant reminders of the pressing need for stringent measures to address fan misconduct.

The proposed crackdown on hooliganism ahead of the Euros, with strict penalties for those in breach of football banning orders, underscores the authorities' commitment to preserving the integrity and safety of the sport.

The revelation of football's most disorderly fan bases serves as a stark wake-up call for stakeholders at all game levels. Urgent and concerted efforts are imperative to foster a culture of respect, civility, and sportsmanship among supporters, thereby safeguarding the future of football as a unifying and uplifting force in society.