The four different organizations, whose administrative operations as well as decisions made their direct contribution to the disaster, were SYP, SWFC, Sheffield City Council as well as Eastwood & Partners. As the major area of accountability was pointed towards SYP, there could not occur the establishment of any legal case relating to manslaughter or any other criminal offence. After the legal action that took place by SYP, other establishments made their agreement for making their contribution regarding the compensation payment for the victims that faced injury. There was the appointment of Lord Justice Taylor for leading a legal investigation by the Government. For a period of 11-year, there occurred varied approaches as well as inspection levels, which included LJ Taylor’s Interim and Final Reports, civil litigation, criminal and disciplinary inquiries, the enquires into the victim’s death, judicial reviews.
Overview of the Background and Impact of the Disaster
On 15th April, 1989 more than fifty thousand men, women as well as children reached Hillsborough Stadium by travelling via train, coach as well as car for watching the FA Cup Semi-Final that will be played amongst Liverpool as well as Nottingham Forest. On that day the morning was bright and sunny, that was considered to be the perfect conditions required for the football season in England.
As a matter of fact, the small area where the crush took place consisted of two pens. Fans made their entrance through a tunnel below the West Stand, into the third and fourth central pens. There occurred segregation of each pen with the help of lateral fences as well as a tall, suspended fence amongst the terrace as well as the perimeter track that surrounded the pitch (Tempany, 2016). There existed a tiny locked gate before every pen. As a result, the crush got intolerable as well as fans collapsed underfoot. A safety barrier broke in front of pen 3, which created huge number of individuals gasping for breath. Irrespective of transmitting the distressing images by the CCTV cameras of the crowd from Ground Control Room as well as to the Police Control Box, as well as availability of officers having their duty on perimeter track, it took some moment for realising the seriousness of what occurred and for rescue attempts to occur (Griffith, 2014). After stopping the match, there occurred the pulling of the fans from the terrace via the contracted gates to the pitch, and the tragedy’s terrible nature was strongly visible. In this context, 96 women, men as well as children faced a tragic death as a result, of the crush, while injury happened to almost hundreds and trauma occurred to thousands. There was the appointment of Lord Justice Taylor for leading a legal investigation by the Government. For a period of 11-year, there occurred varied approaches as well as inspection levels, which included LJ Taylor’s Interim and Final Reports, civil litigation, criminal and disciplinary inquiries, the enquires into the victim’s death, judicial reviews (Bray, 2016). In addition, the inspection of the new proof that Lord Justice Stuart-Smith had conducted, as well as the private trial of the two senior officers of the police department that were giving duty.
Identification of Four Different Organizations that Contributed to the Disaster
The main culprits were the organizations like SYP, SWFC, Sheffield City Council and Eastwood & Partners that directly contributed to the disaster through their flawed administrative operations and callous decision making. For reaching a decision relating to criminal trials, the Director of Public Prosecutions was given the advice regarding the accountability relating to the tragedy laid with SWFC, Sheffield City Council, Eastwood & Partners engineers as well as SYP (Fitzpatrick, 2016). Although, SYP was mainly held responsible for the mishap, no legal case was established on the first place concerning the deaths that had occurred. But, after the legal action occurred regarding SYP, the other organizations agreed to make their contribution for compensating the victims that were faced with injuries. (Ilett, 2015). This is as under,
- Sheffield Wednesday Football Club - ?1.5 million
- Sheffield City Council - ?1 million
- The Club’s Engineers Eastwood & Partners - ?1.5 million
The estimation was made regarding a possibility for the overall compensation to the injured as well as bereaved towards reaching ?12 million, which suggested that SYP did the acceptance of two-thirds of the liability and the other establishments made the acceptance of one-third of the liability. Finally, the compensation expense grew to ?19.8 million. There occurred the limiting of the insurance cover relating to public liability of SYP, which was ?8.5 million. (Davis, 2013). Payment relating to the remainder regarding the overall amount was done from the fiscal reserves of the Police Authority as well as with the help of special payments from the Home Office. In this context, it needs to be stated that the crowd was highly mismanaged by the South Yorkshire Police (SYP) that was commanded by a naive Chief Superintendent named David Duckenfield, considered being the major reason for the tragedy. (Squires, 2016). Outside the ground, the police failed to control, where the funnelling of 24,000 Liverpool fans was done through just 23 turnstiles. Therefore, Duckenfield did the ordering of the opening of a large exit gate and a huge number of individuals were given the permission to come inside. The biggest mistake committed by the inexperienced Chief Superintendent was his failure in closing the tunnel that resulted in the already overcrowded central ‘pens’ (Swan, 2015).
Moreover, the Sheffield City Council had its share of failure in its duty for overseeing the football ground’s safety. Sheffield City Council had a statutory duty of issuing, monitoring as well as revising the safety certificate of the stadium. It was found out that, SWFC as well as the Council could not achieve success in their individual duty since the certificate of safety did not take into consideration the 1981 as well as 1985 changes to the ground. There was also the lack of any FA process to check the validity of the stadium’s safety certificate. The City Council’s performance regarding its duties towards the Safety Certificate was considered having inefficiency as well as negligent (James, 2014).
Recommendation for Each Organization
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club (SWFC)
- There is the requirement of reviewing the maximum terrace capacities having an immediate reduction of 15%
- There is the need to monitor the densities of the pen
- There is the requirement to paint as well as open the perimeter fence gates
- There should be better first-aid as well as emergency provisions at grounds
South Yorkshire Police (SYP)
- There is the requirement for reviewing the safety certificates
- There should be the introduction of new offence for restricting ticket touts
- There should be the establishment of local advisory groups
- There should be increased use of attendance centre orders in respect of older offenders as well as considering the aspect of tagging hooligan offenders (Korstanje, 2013)
To conclude it can be stated, the Sheffield City Council had its share of failure in its duty for overseeing the football ground’s safety. Sheffield City Council had a statutory duty of issuing, monitoring as well as revising the safety certificate of the stadium. It was found out that, SWFC as well as the Council could not achieve success in their individual duty since the certificate of safety did not take into consideration the 1981 as well as 1985 changes to the ground. There was also the lack of any FA process to check the validity of the stadium’s safety certificate. The City Council’s performance regarding its duties towards the Safety Certificate was considered having inefficiency as well as negligent.
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