The FA have warned Port Vale FC that any future incidents such as those during the Bradford City game will result in disciplinary action including fines and closing parts of the stadium.
During the home game against Bradford, a small number of Vale fans engaged in racist chants which were reported by a number of right-minded Vale fans nearby.
According to the club, the incident has contributed to an increase in policing bills for subsequent matches while football pundit Garth Crooks’ over-reaction to the incident was a somewhat hysterical call for the Railway Stand to be closed unless the club took “positive action”.
It appears that the FA have taken a rather more considered approach than Crooks to this isolated (but still disturbing) incident – with the club reprimanded and with a threat of much stronger action if it should happen again.
We will not tolerate racism or for that matter other behavior that brings our club into disrepute. Any supporter found to have misbehaved in this way will face a lifetime ban if found guilty…
A club statement from Port Vale reads:
The Club can confirm it has now received the Football Associations (FA) findings after their investigation into well publicized events at the home game against Bradford City earlier this season.
In this instance, the FA has confirmed that they do not propose to take any further action. However, the club has been advised that any future misconduct could result in the Club receiving disciplinary action, (which could take a number of forms including fines and closing parts of the stadium.)
The club has worked very hard to stamp out racism of any description and Chairman Norman Smurthwaite has again made the club’s position crystal clear:
‘We will not tolerate racism or for that matter other behavior that brings our club into disrepute. Any supporter found to have misbehaved in this way will face a lifetime ban if found guilty’
Ally Simcock, Chairman of the Port Vale Supporters Group echoed Norman’s viewpoint saying:
‘We are not racist fans and this was an isolated incident, however, we have all been tarnished by this. It is of utmost importance that we work together in stamping out discrimination of any kind, as the consequences could dramatically affect the whole club, from the players to the fans. It is something that none of us should tolerate at our club. Let’s unite, move forward and show the football community what the fans of this club are really about.’
Any fans who wish to report racist incidents can use the confidential contact information highlighted on the ‘kick-it out’ signs around the Stadium.
OVF backs the Kick It Out campaign and would urge all fans to report any incidents of racism to the appropriate authorities.