DAVE Jones has apologised for appearing to tar “good” Leeds fans with the same brush as those he tagged “vile animals”.
But the Owls manager has told The Star in the wake of the Hillsborough trouble that football’s decent majority can play a bigger part in rooting out those who misbehave, wherever it happens.
Jones is also unrepentant after calling for a ban on Leeds fans going to away games, after the assault on Chris Kirkland, damage to the stadium and abusive chanting which marred the 1-1 draw with the Owls.
“Some Leeds fans have condemned me for saying that they should all be banned from away games,” he said. “But sometimes the majority have to suffer because of a minority, as happened when England clubs were banned from Europe, and once when I was at Wolves, Cardiff fans were banned because of some trouble.
“I didn’t call for a ban lightly. It has a lot of repercussions, financially, 5,000 people...that’s a lot of people not turning up.
“But if people aren’t there, they can’t misbehave. If they are there, they have to behave.”
Jones also told The Star: “I apologise for tarring Leeds fans with the same brush, but look at it from my point of view: that one person ran on and attacked Chris Kirkland.
“But it wasn’t just about one person: after he’d done it, he was being slapped on the back as if he was a hero. I didn’t hear any of the other Leeds fans booing him. Who bought him his ticket, when he was a banned fan? Who hid him? Who sat next to him?
“It wasn’t just one or 40 or 400 Leeds fans chanting like they did. It was thousands. And when people say to me it’s just football banter, that doesn’t wash. Nobody should be subjected to vile abuse, and fans shouldn’t chant vile things at each other.
“I was angry with the whole situation.
“I thought those days had gone, but it seems to be getting worse. At all stadiums, you go to watch a football match; it should be a family day.”
Jones’ son, two daughters and two grandchildren were at Friday’s game.
An Owls spokesman told The Star that the club have received scores of messages from genuine Leeds fans condemning the behaviour of some of the away following last Friday.
There have also been messages of support from fans of Jones’ former clubs, Cardiff City, Southampton and Wolves, after the Owls boss was a target of abusive chanting from Leeds fans which was linked to his court case of 12 years ago.