Vespasian raise the FA Cup!

Vespasian raise the FA Cup!

Portsmouth Football Club’s 2-0 victory over Spurs on 11th April 2010 won them a place in that year’s FA cup final against Chelsea. This was a real boost for the city as Pompey fans already knew their team was facing probable relegation.

In late April Portsmouth City Council (PCC) promised the city a free, live screening of the cup match on Southsea Common. The game was to be held on Saturday 15th May 2010 leaving only a three week deadline to complete the entire planning process. Right from the beginning the Vespasian team assisted PCC with all aspects of the event from site layout and fencing types to capacities and emergency plans.

Working closely with officials from PCC, Police and local ambulance service, Vespasian delivered advice on industry best practice, crowd management tactics and planning methods. Vespasian’s Managing Director, Oliver Gardiner, assisted PCC officials almost on a daily basis throughout the planning stages, through the event itself and into the post-event wash-up meetings.

On the day of the match Vespasian deployed over 120 staff to the screening on Southsea Common. The team included Crowd Managers, Supervisors, Response Teams, Gate Search Teams, Crowd Safety Stewards and Radio Control Operators. Our staff were excellently cared for by our logistics team which was located on site throughout the two day build and break along with the event itself.

The event plan called for a 15,000 capacity fenced area in front of the screen which was to be kept as an alcohol free zone. The plan was to allow those attendees who wished to drink alcohol to watch the screen from outside the fenced area. This created the need for Vespasian to secure and manage the fenced site as well as monitor and liaise with Police regarding the open area outside the compound.

The expected audience demographics in the two areas of the event were poles apart. Vespasian responded by supplying extra female staff to assist with families in the fenced zone and a robust set of response teams for the external area. Our Response teams were led by our Specialist Unit Supervisor Paul Collingwood. All of the Response Teams received extra training for the event from Paul. (An article relating to Paul’s ground breaking training course can be found in the case studies section of the website.)

Throughout the event day Vespasian management requested updates from the city wide CCTV network regarding migrations of people toward the event site. Using a direct radio link to the Police Gold Command centre located several miles away, Vespasian were able to plan accurately for peaks in ingress rates along with redeployment of staff from the gates to other areas of the site.

The unique event make-up posed challenges during the day but the Vespasian team passed all tests with flying colours. Pompey lost to Chelsea 1-0 but team Vespasian and Portsmouth City Council came out on top.

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  • Andy Denny

    We have never worked with a contractor from ANY area of the festival who is so dedicated to providing a first class service.


  • Nick Byrne

    Glad to see some friendly faces. When security greet you with a smile and a friendly hello, it’s hard not to give back and treat them with respect. Starting exchanges on the right foot makes a difference. Glad to see a security team that give the impression that they’re on ‘our’ side.

    Festival Customer

  • Ben Miles

    Vespasian has been with us from the start and we work well together as a team. We meet regularly to discuss service provision and they are flexible enough to meet our changing needs. Their expertise and experience of the industry have been invaluable to us and to the success of our venue.

    Little Johnny Russells

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Approved Contractor

Vespasian Security Ltd. holds SIA approved Contractor Status for the provision
of Door Supervision and Security Guarding services.