THE CCTV system at Vitality Stadium will be upgraded this summer as AFC Bournemouth attempt to better deal with incidents of flares and disorder.

Cherries’ operations director Liz Finney told a recent supporter experience working group that she agreed with the view that fan behaviour across all of football had “degenerated” post-Covid.

Two Cherries fans who were involved with flares and other issues at the Bristol City away game in October last year received three-year football banning orders from the courts, the group was told.

Chief executive Neill Blake said the new season will see leagues putting pressure on clubs to step up security and the safety of fans.

Minutes from the working group meeting reported that Mr Blake said: “This will not just be related to flares as, with what has happened in recent pitch invasions, there is also a big emphasis on this at the moment.

Bournemouth Echo: AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill BlakeAFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake

“We can’t control what other clubs do with regards to searching people when they enter the stadium, but you like to think, with what we have heard and seen this season, clubs will step it up.”

An AFC Bournemouth spokesperson told the Daily Echo: "Many people will have seen a deterioration in supporter behaviour across the country and inevitably footballing bodies and clubs are looking to respond to this.

"There will be a number of safety measures implemented to tackle these issues during the new season and beyond.

"We want all supporters to have a safe and enjoyable experience at Vitality Stadium and when they travel away to watch their team and we will update supporters on these measures as and when they are implemented."

Bournemouth Echo:

Ian Reed, AFC Bournemouth safety officer, told the working group that at a recent Sports Grounds Safety Authority conference in Manchester there was an hour dedicated to the subject of flares and supporter behaviour.

Mr Blake confirmed at the working group that CCTV systems at Vitality Stadium will be upgraded “within key areas” in the stands, “so we can better deal with such incidents”.

The subject will be discussed with police at meetings ahead of the season.

Supporters on the working group asked the club officials what they could do to help with tackling the subject.

The club also confirmed that the ticket office team were looking into introducing e-tickets on phones for home games alongside tickets printed by the club, but there would not be an option of print at home tickets due to concerns this “could cause too many problems”.