COUNTY NEWS: Racecourse want to ban those involved in mass brawl

The four people taken to hospital have all been discharged, police said
The four people taken to hospital have all been discharged, police said

Goodwood Racecourse will look to hand out lifetime bans to anyone found to have taken part in Saturday’s ‘horrible’ brawl, the general manager has insisted.

Alex Eade said ‘really clear’ CCTV images had been handed over to Sussex police, who are investigating the incident and are calling for witnesses after four people were hospitalised.

Mr Eade said: “First of all we are really sorry to anyone who was caught up in this, the team are deeply upset by what happened, some of my staff were in tears.

“The team work so hard to create the tranquil atmosphere people expect at Goodwood and it’s punctured on one afternoon by a relatively small number of individuals.

“We are doing everything we can to work with police and hopefully there will be some arrests and then these people can be banned from this racecourse and every other racecourse for that matter in future.

“Their behaviour was totally disgusting, there’s no place for it at Goodwood or any other sporting venue, and we have some really clear facial images of those involved which have been passed on to police.”

Mr Eade said he would ‘absolutely’ push for bans if police positively identify those involved and he said the British Horseracing Authority had been in touch to say they would also be denied access to all other racecourses in England.

Mr Eade said he was right near the Gordon Enclosure when the altercation spilled out of a bar and onto the public concourse.

He described it as a ‘nasty, vicious fight’ but said it involved ‘more like ten people’ instead of the 50 that police believe were involved.

Answering criticism for what some eyewitnesses said was a lack of security as the fight unfolded, Mr Eade said: “There were over 100 security on the racecourse that day.

“I have reviewed the CCTV footage and seen all the clips in the national press and in every single one you can see several security staff dealing with it.

“They were wearing white shirts and black trousers so look like customers.

“It’s wrong to say we just let it happen.

“We called police and they arrived in less than ten minutes, by which time the incident was already over.

“But I am absolutely not saying we did everything perfectly and we will review what we did well and didn’t do well.

“If that means putting on more security we will put on more security; if it means making our security more visible we will do that; and if it means making changes to the way we serve alcohol then we will do that as well.

“I’m not saying we wouldn’t change everything if that makes people feel safer at Goodwood.”