The Premier League has announced a joint approach to enforcing fan bans across all 20 grounds. Here, Sky Sports News’ chief reporter Bryan Swanson assesses its implications…
What has changed?
Premier League clubs met on Thursday and issued a joint statement ‘united against all forms of violent, threatening and abusive behaviour’.
- PL sets blanket bans for abusive behaviour
- Fan given four-year ban for Abraham racist abuse
But, this time, they have gone further. They have now introduced league-wide bans for all supporters banned by their clubs.
What does that mean?
If a fan is banned by one Premier League club, they are now also banned from attending the grounds of the other 19 clubs.
It will replicate the original ban so if a supporter is banned for three years, for example, they will be banned for the same three-year period by the other Premier League clubs.
How is a league-wide ban enforced?
It will be enforced in the same way as present bans.
There are several methods involved including intelligence on the ground, cross-referencing of names on match tickets, and picture distribution to stewards at turnstiles.
Facial recognition is not used by Premier League clubs. Therefore, club bans can be difficult to enforce, and some supporters have, inevitably, been able to attend games.
The biggest focus for clubs is to share their data on banned fans and ensure a comprehensive database is accessible to security officials at every Premier League ground. This will take time to fully implement.
Was their announcement prompted by the attack on Ed Woodward’s house?
No, but it did anger the Premier League and the competition’s top club officials. Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman attended the latest routine meeting in London, as he always does, following supportive messages across the game.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told Sky Sports News: “There is a place for legitimate fan protest. But I think what has been happening, in terms of some of the chanting and what happened at Ed Woodward’s house, was horrible and wrong. I think a line was crossed.”
No supporter has yet been banned by Manchester United in relation to the attack and police enquiries are ongoing.