The fallout from a defeat in a derby is usually aimed at awful performances, lack of intensity or poor managerial tactics, but not so this weekend for Birmingham City fans.
All the talk post-game was about only one thing, and it had nothing to do with dodgy offsides, penalty decisions or sendings off. One lunatic has actually managed to do something not many have been able to do in recent times — unite Blues and AstonVilla fans alike.
A fan physically attacking a player used to be unheard of, but this week has seen a number of incidents that, if they continue, will undoubtedly hear calls for fencing around the stands to reappear.
There have always been pitch invasions, whether they be celebratory in nature, or a streaker showing off their wares for all to see. But in these incidents, a worrying trend is appearing, and it is one that no one wants to see.
Questions can be asked about how a pitch invader could get passed an increased stewarding presence for a derby game, or how he was not spotted earlier, but, for us, the biggest question is why would someone feel the need to have to attack a player, regardless of his team, religion or race?
Thankfully, the ‘supporter’ has been roundly condemned by Blues fans, and he will, hopefully, not be able to see the inside of a football ground ever again.
But what are the ramifications for City?
They may receive a punishment from the EFL, and will most likely be a hefty fine. But what if it was more?
This season, City sit mid-table, but still have an outside shout of making the play-offs. Any points deduction would mean that outside chance would become non-existent.
If this has happened last season it would have been even more disastrous. Having finished just five points above the relegation zone, a mere five or six-point deduction would have seen the Blues embarking on League One football this year.
If this type of incident ever happens again, then these punishments are a very real possibility.
All of this, as a result of the pathetic behaviour of one person, who rather than being a local hero — as surely he thought he would be — has been exposed a nothing but a lout who has no place in St Andrews, or right to be associated with the thousands of loyal fans who have publicly deplored his actions.
Thankfully, Grealish was unhurt, and although he scored the winning goal, the result was, in many ways, largely irrelevant by that point.
What are your thoughts on the incident, and the aftermath? Let us know below…
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