Knights fans v Glory

Blow-by-blow report by AAP
Melbourne Knights fans v Perth Glory

Perth Glory coach Bernd Stange, goalkeeper Jason Petkovic and striker Bobby Despotovski were injured as Melbourne Knights fans went on a rampage after their side's 0-0 Elimination Final draw at Knights Stadium.

A Knights official told AAP the club deserved to be kicked out of the NSL after the violence.

The match was held up after Knights' fans tossed flares onto the ground and fights broke out on the terraces.

But that paled into insignificance as the Glory players and coaching staff ran a gauntlet of fists and kicks after the match.

The trouble flared after security guards escorted the Glory players back through the empty grandstand instead of the changeroom exit to avoid any trouble as they left for the team bus.

However the hooligans had somehow found out about the detour and charged straight through the security escort, lashing out at the Glory players with striker Bobby Despotovski singled out for special attention.

A security guard, who jumped in to help Despotovski, was smashed to the ground and then repeatedly kicked in the head by another thug.

The Glory players tried to pull Despotovski clear but had to wear non-stop blows as they retreated back to the relative safety of the players' race.

Stange was nursing a bruised thigh after a fan lashed out at him as he raced back from the brawling thugs.

Defender Craig Deans managed to free Despotovski and with goalkeeper Jason Petkovic sprinted back to the rooms.

All were carrying bruises but the security official was kicked senseless, his face was swollen, his teeth covered in blood and his eyes glazed as he was supported into the rooms for treatment.

Grim-faced Knights' spokesman Tonci Prusac was sickened by the violence which erupted directly in front of the press box.

"We deserve to be thrown out after that," Prusac said.

"Out of all the highs and lows of the season this is the absolute lowest," he added saying the thugs should be banned for life.

Stange was fuming, shaken and limping and vowed never to return to the Sunshine ground.

"I will never come back to the Knights ever again, I got kicked and punched we should not have to put up with this," Stange said.

Despotovski, whose face was already swelling from the beating, said it was time Soccer Australia stepped in and cleaned up the game.

"Ten to 15 people just started kicking me and punching, it was a disgrace," Despotovski said.

Knights' team manager John Sigur said he was embarrassed and disgusted by what happened tonight.

"This bunch of animals, for want of a better word, are not true supporters and I hope we do not get crucified for the actions of a minority," Sigur.

Knights' supporters claimed that they had been taunted by Despotovski during the game but the allegations had a hollow ring.

Soccer Australia was waiting for reports before deciding what action could be taken but chairman Tony Labbozzetta said it was the first time players had ever been attacked in Australia.

"There's no excuse, the security has failed in its duty in protecting the players and the coach," he said.

Although there was a heavy security presence at the stadium the handful of Perth fans who made the trip were also involved in a wild brawl as they started to leave the ground.

Heavily outnumbered they were also punched by hooligans - their only offence was that they wore their team colours.