"We will not stand for this."
That is the clear and unequivocal message from the Board of Sheffield United Football Club today after the Championship fixture with Norwich City was tarnished and marred by a small group of Blades fans.
The Blades are liaising with counterparts at the Norfolk club and South Yorkshire Police after incidents during and after the match, which saw:
- Supporters injured in a number of incidents
- Objects thrown onto the pitch
- High profile Norwich officials threatened and abused
In a clear move to deal with the troublemakers, the Board of Sheffield United FC issued a strongly worded statement:
"We simply will not tolerate the unsportsmanlike and illegal conduct of a few to spoil things for the large majority who come along to simply watch and enjoy a football game on a Saturday afternoon. At Bramall Lane family values are paramount.
"Violence in any form is unacceptable at Bramall Lane. The club invests significant sums and management time in assuring the safety of our fans and guests and we shall redouble our efforts to ensure that no supporters are injured and no attendees are obnoxious or abusive towards the directors and officials of our fans and guests, such as Norwich. We'd like to assure our fans and supporters that the staff and management of Sheffield United, in co-operation with South Yorkshire Police, will make every effort to assure a safe environment for the derby at the weekend.
"To a degree all in football expect good natured comments at a game - it is part of the culture of football. Enthusiasm, however, can never be an excuse for violence. We are working with the police in coordinating a root and branch approach to identify those supporters who are tarnishing the name of Sheffield United and putting football in a very poor light.
"At a time when we are aiming to have fewer security-related incidents, these individuals seem concerned only with their selfish desire to ruin the wonderful Bramall Lane experience for everyone else.
"We want this element removed from our support so if that means other fans reporting incidents of unacceptable behaviour then let us know. We will issue life bans and impose other tough measures to deal with these fans."
Sheffield United have already banned seven individuals this season, including two from Saturday's game - a 22-year-old and a 39-year-old have both been charged by police since the weekend and their Kop season tickets have already been annulled.
Further South Yorkshire Police investigations are ongoing and Sheffield United's CCTV footage is being used to support the attempts to bring offenders to justice. Additionally, the club is continuing to work with Cleveland Police following the August fixture at Middlesbrough.
Sheffield United have been reported to the Football Association following Saturday's game and the club could face sanctions, including financial penalties.
Supporters wishing to confidentially report any incident can do so by contacting the club at firstname.lastname@example.org