Wembley Stadium is to strengthen its security around the iconic ground with a series of new measures, including a 3.6 metre perimeter fence, in response to the chaos seen at the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy.
An independent report called the day ‘a source of national shame’ after 2,000 ticketless fans forced their way into the ground. The report commissioned by the Football Association (FA) and overseen by Baroness Casey concluded that a ‘collective failure’ of organisations involved in planning for the game was responsible for the shocking scenes.
Brent Council has now approved plans to enhance the security line around the 90,000-seater stadium, which were supported by the Football Association (FA) – England football’s governing body. The measures are expected to ‘enhance security standards and improve safety’ at future events.
A new gated portal, fencing and enclosed roller shutters will be built at the Club Wembley entrance. The gate changes will see an external entrance lobby with interlocking doors designed to prevent ‘unauthorised or un-ticketed individuals from being able to force entry […] to the stadium from the Olympic Steps’, as occurred at the Euro 2020 Final.
These modifications will be fitted externally making them visible to all visitors. it is expected that this will ‘act as a visual deterrent’ to fans looking to get in without a ticket.
Similar gate changes will be made to the media, staff, and VIP entrances to protect visitors. There will also be perimeter fencing installed adjacent to the entrances, fixed on top of the existing parapet to ‘prevent individuals scaling the wall’.
The stadium will also install perimeter fences at entrances used by a large number of fans to ‘deter unwanted guests climbing and rushing’ towards the gates. Next to South Way, a new 3.6-metre gated fence – called ‘Gate 3’ – will be erected, with another 2.7-metre fence at the east steps.
It was originally thought that the walkway around the stadium could be closed to the public outside of event days. However, a condition was included by the council to ensure that it will remain open on non-event days between 7am and 8pm as it is ‘an important area for recreation, tourism and pedestrian movement within Wembley Park’.
On the day of the final, around 10,000 fans gathered at Wembley by 12pm, with kick-off not scheduled until 8pm. The independent report described many fans as ‘already drunk and carrying bags full of alcohol’.
The situation escalated throughout the afternoon as fans set off flares and fireworks, as well as climbing up traffic lights and lamp posts. As many more people gathered near the stadium throughout the day, thousands of ticketless fans were able to storm the gates, breaking through 17 disabled entrances and fire doors.
Last year, Wembley Stadium completed phase one of improvement works related to Baroness Casey’s recommendations, which included making turnstiles and accessibility entrances more secure and having locks on all perimeter doors strengthened. A new command and control centre was also created, with more than 50 Hi-Resolution CCTV cameras added.
Work on the next stage of improvements will start in autumn. Once completed, around £4.3 million will have been spent enhancing security around the stadium and implementing the recommendations of Baroness Casey.
Liam Boylan, stadium director, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Wembley Stadium has a regular schedule of investment works to maintain industry-leading facilities that attract world-class events. The latest planning approval enables us to implement the next phase of our security enhancements.”
He added: “This includes recommendations included in the Baroness Casey Review, and additional measures, which will ensure Wembley Stadium continues to be a safe and secure venue for all our guests.”