In a year when they have won an award from the Football League for their treatment of supporters, Rotherham United have declared war on those fans found guilty of bad behaviour.
A small number of fans will start their second season at the New York Stadium under threat of a ban from the ground altogether after they were found to have produced conduct described by the club as “unacceptable”.
“We take our responsibility to supporters seriously and we have won the Family Excellence Award from the Football League which is something we are extremely proud of,” said Rotherham’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Douglas.
“How we deal with our supporters is something we are looking to improve all the time. We haven’t got everything right yet, in the first year, but we have something to build on and this award shows we are getting things right.
“Next season, people will see significant improvements in the way that we interact with our supporters in a bid to engender a stronger bond with them.”
Douglas said that some 15 individuals had been issued with warning notices because of their conduct last season.
“We know football is an emotional environment but these were people whose language or behaviour is something we will not tolerate,” he said.
“We contacted each person at various times and, speaking to them in more sober confines on, say, a Monday afternoon, it shows them in a different light and every single one of them acknowledged that their behaviour had been unacceptable and wrong and they agreed to the warning notice we issued.
“They know that a repeat of this behaviour will result in a ban from the stadium. All said it wouldn’t happen again.
“We have just had a successful season and it is important that we build on it, use these times to build loyalty and memories. It is important that people enjoy themselves and enjoy the experience of coming to our ground - people have told us they have found it enjoyable.”
He said they have taken on board certain issues with the catering demands and the kiosks; that they are continue to work on improving the sound system in certain areas of the ground where there has been some difficulty.
“Small details need to be right,” added Douglas, who said season ticket sales were significantly up on last season.