The Premier League has acted to clamp down on ‘anti-social’ behaviour of fans with automatic bans from stadia issued to those caught breaking the rules.
The end of the 2021/22 season in England saw a spate of controversial moments, with mass pitch-invasions becoming commonplace and pyrotechnics and smoke bombs set off inside grounds with alarming regularity.
Ahead of this campaign, the Premier League, FA and EFL came together to introduce stronger sanctions in an attempt to curb the trend, but isolated incidents have persisted. That has prompted the Premier League to go even further in an attempt to protect the safety of players and supporters.
“At a Premier League Shareholders’ Meeting today, clubs unanimously agreed to introduce minimum-length bans for supporters who take part in anti-social and criminal behaviours at League stadiums,” a Premier League statement read.
“Fans caught carrying or activating pyrotechnics or smoke bombs, or entering the pitch without permission, will receive an automatic club ban with a minimum term of one year. These bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in such activities. This policy is effective immediately and the ban is applicable to both home and away matches.”
Last season, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was assaulted by a pitch invader as he stood on the touchline during their Championship play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
There was also an incident with Crystal Palace manager, who kicked out at an Everton fan who was goading him on the Goodison Park pitch after the Toffees secured their Premier League survival.