As a Manchester City fan, I could hardly contain my mirth at the situation in Manchester yesterday. At first I was quite concerned. I have several friends and family at the match. Some actually live in Manchester! Of course when you hear of a bomb at a football match, tribal loyalties are completely put to one side. Then we found out that Manchester United's private security contractors had planted the "bomb" themselves as part of a "security exercise". When the news of this broke, my first thought was "have they put sacked Barnet CEO Andrew Travers in charge of security?"
What were these contractors doing? Can you imagine it. "Well Fred, we planted the package, but we couldn't find it". "Don't worry, its not a real bomb. The pubs are open, lets nip out for a pint". "Shouldn't we tell someone?" "Nah, a fan will find it and put it on Ebay as a souvineer".
But really, hilarious as it seems, there are serious issues.
1. Should an organisation have a safety certificate if they conduct such an operation, cant find the bomb even though they know its there, and dont tell anyone.
2. Why didn't the contractors tell the police?
3. If they can't find a fake bomb , what if it had been a real one?
80,000 people go to watch Manchester United games. They should be secure and safe. No one can make a case that the people who organise stadium security are competent. Heads must roll and a wider review of all grounds should take place. A message has been sent out to every nutcase in the world that stadium security is not fit for purpose. That has to be put right as a matter of urgency.