Barnsley FC supporters have worst record for racism in South Yorkshire

Barnsley FC supporters have the worst record for racism than any other South Yorkshire club, according to Home Office figures.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 12:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 18:23 pm
Barnsley FC's ground

Nationally, Manchester United supporters have been involved in more football-related arrests where racism was an aggravating factor or a feature than any other club in England in the four seasons up to 2017-18, data from the Home Office shows.

But, locally in South Yorkshire, Barnsley fans top the table.

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Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that 27 individuals recorded as Manchester United fans by police were arrested during the seasons 2014-15 to 2017-18.

Championship clubs Leeds and Millwall each had 15 supporters arrested, while Leicester had 14 and Chelsea 13.

In South Yorkshire, there were 10 Barnsley fans arrested, eight Rotherham supporters, four Sheffield United supporters, three Sheffield Wednesday fans and one Doncaster Rovers follower.

Data for the season just ended is set to be released later this summer.

Where racism has been recorded as a feature of an incident, it requires the arresting officer to tick a box, which is why the Home Office says the overall accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed.

Manchester United pointed to the fact their large attendances meant the percentage of their supporters involved was miniscule.

A club spokesperson said: "There is no place for racism within our game, or in society as a whole, and we are committed to working to make football free from all forms of discrimination, whether through our own 'All Red All Equal' campaign or in support of Kick It Out and other organisations.

"This statistic applies to 0.0004 per cent of our matchgoing fanbase. I does not reflect the views or behaviour of our fans as a whole in any way. We continue with monitoring and liaison with authorities to try and identify and eradicate any forms of discriminatory behaviour, and we take appropriate action if it occurs."

The data shows an overall total of 107 arrests where racism was recorded as a feature during the 2014-15 season, rising to 114 in 2015-16.

The figure then dropped over the next two seasons, with 94 arrests recorded in 2016-17 and just 75 in 2017-18.

Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out reported last November that there were 520 reports of discriminatory abuse during the 2017-18 season, an 11 per cent increase on the previous campaign and the sixth year in a row where the figure had risen.

Fifty-three per cent of those reports concerned alleged racist abuse.

In response to the Home Office data, a statement from Kick It Out read: "These figures show racism is a nationwide problem shared by clubs of all different sizes in all parts of the country.

"We support them in challenging racism and other forms of discrimination, and will continue our programme of education in the game to help reduce this problem."