Max Hayes filming at Chelsea.

Recent years have seen a substantial uptick in the numbers of fans sharing their views on their team on sites like YouTube (remember when it was just “Kige Ramsey, YouTube Sports“?), and that’s included videos shot at stadiums. Some stadium security personnel don’t seem that receptive to the idea, though, as YouTube vlogger Max Hayes found out at Saturday’s third-round FA Cup match between Chelsea and Nottingham Forest. The 14-year-old Hayes regularly covers Forest on his Matchday With Max channel, and he decided to head to Stamford Bridge with his brother and a friend for this match, but his attempts to film outside the stadium led to backlash from Chelsea security staff:

The key parts in there include Hayes saying they were filming an intro “quietly and respectfully” outside the main gate, apologized when a steward shouted at them and said they couldn’t film there, and then moved to another area. He goes on to say the same steward “came at us hell for leather and “man-handled me, my brother and his friend. He dragged me by the scruff of the neck very aggressively (a 14-year-old, innocent fan) into an interrogation room and made it clear that we would not be allowed in the stadium.”

Hayes then says that the head security officer let them in but confiscated their bag, and that when they asked to discuss the incident with the police, police were called in but said “nothing would happen if we reported the incident.” Hayes’ family also chimed in:

Meanwhile, Nottingham Post journalist Paul Taylor expressed his support for Hayes:

As per The Guardian, Chelsea’s response so far has just been that they’re looking into it, but their supporters’ association expressed apologies to Hayes:

A spokesman for Chelsea said: “We are aware of the complaint and are looking into it.”

Hayes has asked for an apology from Chelsea. He said on Twitter: “As a family we have been to multiple away grounds and have never had a problem with filming and doing what I love, and we’re therefore in complete shock at the brutal and unprofessional staff at Stamford Bridge … The whole incident ruined the day out for us, and I am still traumatised after the event.”

The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said: “We would like Max to know that Chelsea supporters are very disappointed to read his account of what happened and would like to offer heartfelt apologies to him on behalf of all of the decent and fair-minded followers of our club.”

This is obviously just Hayes’ side of the story, but it’s not a story that looks very good for Chelsea. Particularly with Hayes and his family filming outside the stadium, it’s unclear why they needed to crack down on that so hard, especially considering that they moved when they were asked. And the physical response here feels like particular overkill. We’ll see if anything further comes from Chelsea’s investigation into the event.

[The Guardian]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.