Millwall FC are infamous for their rowdy supporters, and the club has a long history of football-related violence that stretches back decades when hooliganism was at its worst in England. Now, after Tottenham Hotspur drew the Lions at White Hart Lane in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, ESPN reports that Spurs are hoping to mitigate the chances of fan clashes by attempting to reduce the number of away fans that can attend the match.
While football supporter violence is way down these days, when you pick up a reputation like Millwall has, it’s incredibly difficult to shake. And it’s not like Millwall’s rowdiness isn’t undeserved. A famous Millwall chant is “No one likes us / We don’t care.” Supporters’ periodic clashes, sometimes violent, with their hated main rivals West Ham are notable, though thankfully infrequent since the Lions are currently in League One.
After the Lions upset Leicester City, Millwall fans rushed the pitch at the Den and afterwards Leicester notified the FA that there were incidents of “provocation and intimidation” by the home support.
"We have personally congratulated Millwall on a merited victory and wish them every success in the sixth round.
"However, following receipt of numerous complaints relating to the constant abuse, provocation and intimidation of our players, staff and supporters from our arrival at the stadium, throughout the match and in its immediate aftermath, we have registered our dissatisfaction with the FA. We are awaiting their response."
Of course, all of this can be fairly attributed to a relatively small number of idiots, and no doubt Millwall’s incidents are sensationalized more than at other clubs, but that doesn’t make the possibility of violence any less real. Spurs seem to be taking the approach of trying to limit the number of away fans in White Hart Lane as a way of ameliorating any potential skirmishes in the stands and outside the stadium.
According to ESPN, Spurs are suggesting that Millwall only be allocated 2,800 tickets for the match; by contrast, around 4,000 Wycombe Wanderers fans were at White Hart Lane for their fourth round tie.
The ultimate decision is up to the FA, but even though this is a London derby, don’t be surprised if Spurs get at least some reduction in tickets to Millwall. This is the final FA Cup match at White Hart Lane, which means that there will be a huge demand for tickets from home supporters, and Tottenham can simultaneously make the case that the extra tickets should go to Spurs fans who want to attend a match with historical significance.