Sheffield United’s McBurnie and Brewster charged by police after playoff incidents

The Guardian - Thu Jun 23 14:11

Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie and Rhian Brewster have been charged after a police investigation into incidents during the club’s Championship playoff semi-final defeat by Nottingham Forest.

The Blades said they were “disappointed” to learn the pair face criminal action after an inquiry by Nottinghamshire police. It is not yet known what the players are accused of doing. Both deny wrongdoing.

The allegations relate to the club’s playoff semi-final second leg at the City Ground on 17 May. Forest, who went on to earn promotion, won 3-2 on penalties after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate. Home fans invaded the pitch in celebration, during which United’s Billy Sharp was assaulted. A man was jailed for 24 weeks after pleading guilty to assaulting Sharp.

“Sheffield United Football Club is disappointed to learn that Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie have been charged following the incidents that took place at the EFL Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest last month,” a club statement said.

“Both players voluntarily engaged in interviews with Nottinghamshire Police in the aftermath of the fixture which saw their teammate Billy Sharp the victim of assault in the chaos which followed the final whistle.

“Brewster and McBurnie strenuously deny the charges brought against them and football manager Paul Heckingbottom, who wrote letters to the League Managers Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the EFL and FA following a number of pitch invasions last month – including one involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira – is continuing discussions with key stakeholders in a bid to better protect players and staff in their place of work.”

Nottinghamshire Police have been approached for comment.