Notts County's 'emerging' hooligan firm sparks warning

Notts County logo at Meadow Lane Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police said there were between 60 and 80 "hooligans" following Notts County

One of the Football League's founding clubs has an "emerging" hooligan firm, a police force has warned.

Nottinghamshire Police said it would be increasing police activity after gathering intelligence on Notts County followers all season.

The news comes after three people were charged following trouble at County's 5-0 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday.

The club said it did not "condone the behaviour of a very small minority" of supporters at the Mansfield match.

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Nottinghamshire Police believe a gang of "about 60 to 80" hooligans is targeting Notts County matches.

'Emerging group'

Supt Mark Holland, who is head of football policing in Nottinghamshire, said he had been concerned about the group for some time.

"We've been monitoring this all season and there is definitely an emerging group there," he said.

Image caption More than 1,700 Notts County fans made the short trip to Mansfield Town to see their side lose 5-0 on Saturday

"There's about 60 to 80 'supporters' who have been attending away games, causing problems and disorder.

"We don't police more than 50% of the games in Nottinghamshire, but we've been attending all Notts County games in an intelligence-gathering capacity.

"They're trying to get themselves established, but we've arrested quite a few of them, we've gathered quite a bit of intelligence and there'll be further action to come."

Formed in 1862, Notts County is considered to be the oldest professional football team in the world and was one of 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888.

Saturday's arrests at the League Two match at Mansfield were for possession of a firework/flare at a sporting event, being drunk at a sports ground and accessing the pitch.

Three men were charged and have been bailed to appear in court next month.

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