FC Halifax Town fans could be put in detention after matches if violence continues

FC Halifax Town's chairman has threatened to keep home fans in detention at The Shay following matches while away supporters leave the ground after another game was marred by violence.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 11:04 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:52 am
Halifax Town v Gloucester, at the Shay
Halifax Town v Gloucester, at the Shay

A coach of Gloucester City supporters was allegedly attacked leaving Halifax on Saturday following Town’s 0-1 defeat, as items were thrown and home fans banged on the side of the bus.

In his programme for the Shaymen’s second half comeback against Gainsborough Trinity last night (Tuesday), David Bosomworth suggested home fans may have to be kept back in the ground while away supporters left if the trouble continued.

He said: “Obviously the word ‘fans’ is used loosely as the club has no desire to have any of these people attaching themselves to the club.

“Following a call from the authorities on Sunday along with the discussion of further actions, the one overriding factor is that this behaviour is starting to give the club a bad name. We are not prepared to accept this and certain action has to take place to deal with it.

“If visiting fans who pay much needed income through the turnstiles cannot both travel to and from their home and watch a game in peace, then it is unacceptable.

“If people feel intimidated they will not even bother to come and we are not prepared to see the club’s name tainted for a small to enjoy ‘cheap thrills’ off the back of one of our football matches.

“Also how disappointing it is to see fellow fans watching the whole sorry saga take place, without trying to stop the activity taking place.

“It would be a shame to keep ‘home’ fans back after a game, until the visiting fans have safely vacated their visiting stand and boarded their buses safely?!”

Mr Bosomworth’s statement follows a brawl that took place at Town’s away fixture at Bradford Park Avenue on March 11.

West Yorkshire Police opened an investigation after at least two factions were involved in a disturbance on a playing field next to Horsfall Stadium in Low Moor.

Bradford Park Avenue said it was the first time that trouble of that kind had taken place at the ground and said its own fans were not involved. It said an outside group came to seek confrontation with Town supporters.

In a statement Bradford Park Avenue said: “These incidents have now been investigated in our regular post-match briefing, and it has been established that the chief cause was due to an infiltration of young men who were not Bradford Park Avenue supporters, with no affiliation to the club.

“Their sole purpose for being at the game that day was to seek a confrontation with the FC Halifax Town supporters.

“From video evidence inside the ground and from information gathered from other sources, a number of young Bradford Park Avenue supporters have also been identified as having associated themselves with troubles inside the stadium prior to kick off.

“The local police were informed by the council’s safety officer before the end of the game of the potential for further confrontation between the two factions when they left the stadium.

Whilst the public order offences, which took place outside the stadium after the match, are not in the council’s nor the football club’s jurisdiction, this behaviour will not be tolerated.

“Action will be taken against those people involved and the appropriate response is still being considered.

“Bradford Park Avenue Community Football Club regrets any distress caused as a result of the trouble witnessed at the weekend and will work alongside Bradford Council and West Yorkshire Police to eradicate such incidents.

“Whilst this is the first occasion that anything of this nature has taken place at Horsfall Stadium, the events of that weekend have been studied by our landlords Bradford Council, Stewards deployed on the day, and directors of the club and any amendments to our standard match day procedures will be made.”

Superintendent Daniel Greenwood, operations lead at Bradford District Police, said: “We received reports of a disturbance taking place on land close to Horsfall Stadium in Bradford on Saturday afternoon. No injuries have been reported to us, however we are now investigating what took place as an affray.

“I am aware of some footage circulating on social media showing this incident and would urge anyone who witnessed it or anyone with video or images from the day to contact us on 101, quoting crime reference 13170112988.

“The actions of some people on Saturday were completely unacceptable and I will not tolerate this kind of activity marring what should have been an enjoyable day for genuine supporters and their families. We will fully investigate this matter and take the strongest possible action against those who have committed offences.”