Sunderland Claim - Update

On Tuesday, 16 November, the two test cases in Spirit of Shankly's claim against police forces following the Sunderland match in 2011, and their subsequent refusal to allow coaches to stop on the route back to Liverpool, reached Leeds Crown Court. 

We are disappointed to announce that these cases have had to be withdrawn.

We firmly believe that the police actions were unlawful, and in refusing to allow coaches to stop breached a basic level of decency, but the claims could not continue because insurance funding for the cases was withdrawn based on the balance of probabilities of success.

Continuing with the cases would have left the claimants personally liable for thousands of pounds worth of legal costs. 

It is important to note that the cases themselves have not been defeated in a court of law. The claims had to be discontinued for the reasons stated above, but this outcome does not condone the actions of the police that day.

The intention of this action was to bring about changes to policing for the benefit of all football supporters. In the years since, and as a direct result of the action brought, we have seen a shift in police attitudes to travelling supporters and as a union we have forged working relationships with Merseyside Police, and others, to improve the standard of policing at Liverpool games. This has benefited our members and the wider supporter base.

We hope those links continue, but should SOS members and supporters be mistreated we will, as a union, work to take any action necessary to defend the rights of match-going fans home and away.

Other claims are still live and solicitors will likely contact you in the coming days and weeks. We are awaiting further information and will update members in due course. 


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