Ahead of the start of the 2022/23 football season The Premier League, EFL and The FA introduced a package of policy measures, actions and sanctions to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour at football matches.
As the season comes to a conclusion, the football organisations are collectively reiterating the importance of a safe matchday environment for everyone and that these behaviours do not represent the majority of fans.
And ahead of the end of season, The Chief Executives of the Premier League, FA, EFL and FSA as well as Director of Women’s Professional Game and the Chair of the FA Alliance Committee have issued the following statement:
“The passionate support of fans is a vital part of what makes football so special in this country. It is completely understandable that emotions run high, particularly at this stage of the season when there is so much to play for.
“However, we must remind supporters that in the interests of safety and wellbeing for everyone inside our stadiums, the pitch is for players, managers and officials, while the stands are there for fans to support their team.
“At the end of last season, we witnessed some unwelcome scenes when fans entered the field of play without permission at several grounds. Even if this is done in celebratory fashion, any supporter who comes onto the pitch is breaking the law and putting the welfare of players, coaches, club staff and fellow fans at risk.
“We know that this unacceptable behaviour is carried out by a minority of fans, and their actions do not represent most supporters, but they risk ruining the fantastic experience of a football match for everyone.
“At the start of this season, the Premier League, EFL, NLS Leagues and The FA worked with the Football Supporters’ Association to introduce new measures and stronger sanctions to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviours, such as entering the pitch and the use of pyrotechnics.
“This includes automatic club bans and police action, and we have seen cases this season which have led to fans receiving criminal records. This can impact employment and education prospects, restrict ability to travel overseas, and could result in a prison sentence. Club bans can also extend to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in this activity.
“As we reach the exciting culmination of another thrilling football season, we want fans to continue to show their positive support as this can make all the difference to a team’s fortunes.
“But our message is clear: fans must stay in the stands and avoid any unnecessary disruption at such a crucial point of the season.”