Sky, a prominent broadcaster, is taking a closer look at its security protocols in the wake of an unsettling incident involving former footballer Roy Keane.
During Arsenal’s recent victory over Manchester United, Keane was allegedly headbutted by a fan in a hospitality area.
This shocking incident has prompted Sky to initiate an investigation into what transpired and what measures can be implemented to ensure the safety of their ex-professional footballers and staff in the future.
The Incident and Police Involvement
The incident occurred when Roy Keane, the 52-year-old former Manchester United captain, was waiting for an elevator to take him down to the pitch-side area in the top of the West Stand.
A 42-year-old man was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of assault after allegedly headbutting Keane on the chest and chin.
This disturbing episode unfolded near the conclusion of Arsenal’s thrilling 3-1 victory.
Micah Richards’ Swift Response
A video circulating on social media captured the moment when Micah Richards, Keane’s colleague at Sky Sports, intervened to restrain the assailant.
Richards acted swiftly, even before security guards could arrive on the scene.
This incident highlights the potential risks that ex-professionals and pundits face in their roles.
Past Precautions for Safety
Notably, earlier this summer, Sky took proactive steps to protect their pundits during the Ashes coverage.
They had employed bodyguards to ensure the safety of Australian pundits, a decision made following an intense dispute sparked by the controversial dismissal of England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow during the second Test.
These measures were taken in response to concerns that heated situations involving fans could escalate.
Review and Future Actions
Sky is currently in the process of reviewing its security procedures.
During this review, they will consider the possibility of bringing in bodyguards for their pundits.
The broadcaster intends to carefully assess the routes taken by pundits and commentators at various stadiums.
Additionally, they will collaborate with clubs and the Premier League itself to enhance security measures.
Fellow Broadcasters Also Concerned
Sky’s commitment to improving security is not unique, as fellow top-flight broadcaster TNT Sport is also exploring ways to enhance their own security protocols.
Both broadcasters plan to continue their pitch-side presentations and interviews, recognizing the importance of maintaining a safe working environment for their talent.
Police Involvement and Post-Match Developments
Following the incident, Sky issued a statement confirming the involvement of the police.
They noted that Micah Richards’ actions were aimed at “defusing” the situation.
The statement also mentioned the discovery of a small amount of blood on the route where the fan was led out.
This unsettling incident occurred shortly after Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho appeared to secure victory in the 88th minute, though the goal was later disallowed after a VAR check.
Ongoing Police Investigation
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that they are investigating the incident at Emirates Stadium on September 3, which led to the arrest of a 42-year-old man on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm (ABH).
The suspect is currently in police custody.
This incident has raised concerns about the safety of football pundits and broadcasters, prompting a broader discussion about the security measures needed to protect them while they perform their roles.