Rotherham boss Paul Warne worried ongoing fan trouble could ‘escalate to another level’

Rotherham boss Paul Warne is concerned that fan behaviour could “escalate to another level” after a shameful weekend.

By Jonathan Veal
Monday, 7th February 2022, 3:35 pm

The Millers were involved in trouble for a second successive week when a fan invaded the pitch in Saturday’s clash with Accrington, disrupting a penalty and barging into visiting player Harry Pell.

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It came seven days after one of their supporters threw an object, believed to be chewing gum, at a linesman in the win at Crewe.

Rotherham United manager Paul Warne. Photo: Bruce Rollinson.

Elsewhere Morecambe’s game with Bolton was delayed as players left the pitch following reported racist abuse while there was also fan trouble in Sunday’s FA Cup game between Nottingham Forest and Leicester.

Warne says there is a “decline in society” and is worried about what might happen.

He said: “I don’t know if football has a problem or if society has a problem, I don't have all the answers.

“There have been a lot of incidents lately and I don't think that any club is whiter than white.

“We've had a couple of problems. What irritates me is that some people play it down and say it was harmless.

“I am just worried that one day it will escalate to another level, that is my fear. Players should be able to play in a safe environment.”

Pell tried chasing the pitch invader at the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday before being held back by other players and Warne fears what could happen if players reacted.

Warne added: “The other thing is that the lads on the pitch are full of adrenaline and there's a fight or flight response all of the time and if someone runs onto the pitch, they are big strong lads and in an instant if a player reacted and cracked someone who ran on to the pitch they will damage the supporter but then the player would get sent off the pitch and have something to answer to.

"It is worrying from both angles for me and at the moment there is a bit of a decline in society.

“We just have to have zero tolerance and get back to a place where people can go back and enjoy football.”

The Millers will be hoping nothing bad happens when they visit AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Richard Wood is suspended but defender Michael Ihiekwe is fit enough to travel.