Chelsea have approached Tottenham Hotspur for advice on avoiding the heavy-handed policing their travelling fans experienced in Seville during the Uefa Cup tie last week (see video footage above). Jose Mourinho’s club play Valencia in their Champions League quarter-final, second leg at the Mestalla Stadium tomorrow, mindful of the clashes on Thursday night between Spanish riot police and Tottenham fans.Chelsea and representatives of the UK football policing unit, who routinely travel with English clubs on overseas trips, had scheduled a meeting last night with the Valencia police. White Hart Lane officials had conveyed their concerns during informal talks at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Although the local police in Valencia have been helpful in their conversations with Chelsea, the municipality has little authority over the national riot police, whose officers were involved in the attacks in Seville.
Last Friday, John Alexander, Tottenham’s club secretary, stated his belief that peaceful supporters were set on unjustly by riot police. He revealed eye-witness reports of attacks on disabled fans, the club’s disability co-ordinator and two Tottenham stewards. Simon O’Brien, the police chief superintendent who travelled with the visitors to Seville, stated that Spurs’ stewards had done a “remarkable and commendable job”.Chelsea, who enjoy a good relationship with Valencia and have remained in close contact with their Spanish counterparts about security arrangements, hope that by taking their own Spanish-speaking stewards to Valencia any inflammatory incidents may be calmed.