Which club's fans top football's league of shame in South Yorkshire?

Police on duty ahead of the Steel City derby last month
Police on duty ahead of the Steel City derby last month
0
Have your say

Nearly 120 South Yorkshire football fans are banned from attending games after being identified as suspected troublemakers, The Star can reveal.

Barnsley FC supporters top the local league of shame, with 44 currently the subject of football banning orders.

Sheffield United fans appear to be the next most unruly, with 32 serving bans, followed by Sheffield Wednesday (17), Rotherham United (12) and Doncaster Rovers (11).

In total, 116 fans across the five league clubs are banned, a Freedom of Information request to South Yorkshire Police has shown, every one of whom is male.

Football banning orders were introduced in 1989 to tackle disorder at matches, and they can run for anywhere between three and 10 years.

They can be imposed for a variety of offences, including drunk and disorderly behaviour, racist chants and assault, which need not necessarily take place within the ground.

Last month, five Blades fans were banned from matches following a brawl that broke out after a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in August.

Sheffield United says it is working 'fastidiously' to eradicate recent disorder and antisocial behaviour which it fears is harming the club's reputation.

As well as banning orders secured by police, the club issues its own stadium bans and says it has increased spending to ensure fans' safety.

"For a number of years the club has worked with the Safety Advisory Group in an attempt to have police-free games but the actions of some has ensured that this is now not possible, at a cost of thousands of pounds," added a spokesman for the club.

"A number of high-profile incidents already this season have damaged the club's reputation and Sheffield United have reacted by issuing indefinite bans from Bramall Lane.

"Simply, we want this element removed from our support. We welcome any information from supporters wishing to confidentially report any incident, they can do so by contacting the club via email at info@sufc.co.uk."

Sheffield Wednesday said it had a 'diligent and thorough security roadmap' for every fixture to ensure the safety of spectators visiting Hillsborough before during and after the match.

"Any individual or collective in breach of our ground regulations or the law will face the strongest possible sanction relevant to the offence," added a club spokesman.

"Supporter safety is paramount at the club and we have a zero tolerance policy toward anyone bringing this ethos into disrepute."

Rotherham FC said it works closely with police, the council and other clubs to prevent trouble at its games.

It said troublemakers could be banned or ordered to carry out voluntary work with its Community Sports Trust, and were always required to sign a 'behaviour agreement' before being allowed to attend games again.

The club added that it had provided evidence to police in the past to help secure a conviction following criminal offences.

South Yorkshire Police says on its website it is 'committed' to stopping football-related disorder, which it says is caused by a 'very small minority' of fans.

It describes banning orders as an 'extremely successful' tool for reforming troublemakers, who in 92 per cent of cases are no longer considered by police to pose a risk once the order expires.

The Star has contacted Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers.

Last month, The Star revealed how football matches in South Yorkshire cost £1.1m to police, though the clubs contribute the majority of that cash.

CURRENT FOOTBALL BANNING ORDERS

Barnsley: 44

Sheffield United: 32

Sheffield Wednesday: 17

Rotherham United: 12

Doncaster Rovers: 11

Total: 116