In response to the issues experienced by supporters at Wembley for the recent Carabao Cup Final, we have been in talks with LFC, followed by the Wembley Stadium safety team, the FA, Brent Council, and the Metropolitan Police.

On the day of the final, approximately 90 minutes before kick-off we became aware that some supporters faced problems with their tickets trying to enter the stadium. We contacted LFC, who had identified the issue and posted updates on social media advising those affected to download their ticket again. 

But this was not the only obstacle some faced and we subsequently went back to the club, Wembley and other stakeholders to raise concerns around access and the stadium facilities once inside.

Immediately after the game, we were contacted by the club who asked to meet to discuss concerns. We asked for members’ to write in with their experiences and collated all information we received, to feed into the discussion. This included:

  • Tickets not working, identified primarily to be a problem on Android phones. 
  • Poor Wi-Fi and internet connectivity causing further delays for those trying to download tickets again, as advised. 
  • A lack of organisation around turnstiles, caused by no apparent queuing system, compounded by no obvious stewarding/crowd management.
  • An absence of ticket checks and searches.
  • Poor Tannoy communication with little or no direction to use alternative turnstiles.
  • Significant congestion near Gate D, impacted by the location of the Fan Zone that hindered crowd flow.
  • Inadequate and unhygienic toilet facilities (flooding and no hot water or soap) and congested areas on the concourse that were not kept clear. 
  • Disabled supporter entrances being used to eject supporters
  • Issues on exiting the stadium, including signposts, access to train stations and other public transport. 

LFC had likewise identified issues/areas of concern and were already conducting their own review. 

There was acknowledgement that the problem some faced with tickets not working, meaning they had to be downloaded again, was due to a technical error when a comparatively small number of tickets was distributed by the club – predominantly those for entry at Turnstile D. We understand that approximately 1,000 supporters were directly affected, but we know more than that downloaded their tickets for a second time following the club’s advice. The club have, as a result of their findings, introduced further checks to ensure this error does not occur in the future. 

After meeting with the club we were subsequently invited to a Safety Advisory Group session convened by Brent Council, alongside LFC, Wembley, the FA, the Met and others, where we were invited to relay our observations and the experiences of our members/supporters. These were well-received with a commitment to learn from them. 

Given fan experiences at Wembley, the high-profile fixtures to be held here in the coming months alongside recommendations of Uefa’s Independent Review, after the Champions League Final in Paris in 2022, we pushed for a role for supporter representation – those who represent the game’s largest group of stakeholders, us the fans, and know their own fan base better than most – to provide unique insight and input.

We are pleased to say that Brent Council have extended an invitation to supporter reps to visit Wembley ahead of future fixtures, including the FA Cup semi-finals, and help inform pre-match planning and crowd management. 

It was clear from those in charge that what supporters experienced fell short of expectation and our concerns were both ‘acknowledged and accepted’.

We’d like to thank all our members who got in touch and we will continue to liaise with LFC, other stakeholders and our counterpart supporter groups, including the Football Supporters’ Association, to ensure the progress made at the SAG is genuine and meaningfully sustained.