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Statement from Sheffield United

PUBLISHED

11:30 8th January 2016

Officials at Sheffield United have completed investigations into inappropriate behaviour by a group of fans at recent fixtures.


The results of the inquiries have been passed on to the Football Association and South Yorkshire Police. In addition, the findings have been shared with other relevant groups.


A number of individuals have been identified from recent fixtures, both home and away, thanks to assistance of CCTV, police and stewards.


Inquiries began after a number of smoke bombs were thrown by Blades fans whilst additional inappropriate language and behaviour was reported at Bramall Lane.


Club officials have this week handed out banning orders to a number of fans and are warning that further incidents will be treated in a similar manner.


The Blades will take every step to track down and deal with those who ignore the ground regulations and through their inappropriate language and actions cause offence and ruin the match day experience for other supporters.


Sheffield United is an inclusive family and community orientated Club where everyone is made to feel welcome and it endeavours to improve on this principle year on year.


"Quite simply we are determined to bring to a swift end this inappropriate behaviour by a group of fans," said Safety Officer, Steve Hicks.


"This week's banning orders indicate that we are wheedling out the troublemakers and we will continue to do so to protect the reputation of the Club and the impact on other fans.


"Each Football League club is responsible for the actions of its own supporters - home or away - and the actions of a minority is putting the lives of fellow supporters in danger as well as potentially putting the Club at risk of costly and severe sanctions from The Football Association."


Incidents involving Sheffield United supporters, at either home or away fixtures, are recorded at the police national database. Incidents involving criminal activity such as pyrotechnic activation will feature but also other incidents where Football League Ground Regulations are breached and the safety of other spectators are compromised. Depending on the circumstances this could also include inappropriate language which is offensive to others. This information is used as a basis for intelligence led decisions wherever the Blades play.


Mr Hicks added: "This can affect the time a fixture is played or the police category of matches played at Bramall Lane. A police-free game means just that... no financial outlay for policing whatsoever. An increased risk high category can cost the Club up to £37,000.


"I wonder how many fans who are involved in incidents of irresponsible behaviour have ever considered how many supporters we need in the stadium to pay that sort of bill? Try multiplying that figure by the 23 home matches we host every season and the mind boggling sum is the potential cost if we don't end this trend.


"As we try to continue to compete in the league in which we find ourselves, and indeed try to compete with other teams in this area, we potentially find ourselves with a huge disadvantage before we start."


Supporters wishing to confidentially report any incident can do so by contacting the Club at info@sufc.co.uk