PFA boss Taylor warns football players not to incite fans with celebrations

PFA chief Gordon Taylor warned players not to incite fans with their celebrations.

He is not blaming the game’s stars after the latest outbreaks of fan violence saw Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish punched and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling shoved by pitch invaders.

Jack Grealish shares his celebration at hitting the Aston Villa winner at fiercest rivals Birmingham City - after being attacked by a fan earlier in the Championship derby
Jack Grealish shares his celebration at hitting the Villa winner at fiercest rivals Birmingham after being attacked by a fan earlier in the Championship derby

But Taylor says provoking the game’s lunatic fringe will not help. He feels ground closures and points deductions must be put on the agenda.

And while the game’s ruling bodies were ordered to sort out the problems by the government, Taylor said: “What we
saw was disgraceful, cowardly and criminal. There must be severe action.

“The eyes of the world are on us and there’s a responsibility on young players in the way they play the game.

Thug Paul Mitchell was jailed for 14 weeks after racing on and attacking Jack Grealish
Paul Mitchell was jailed for 14 weeks after racing on and attacking Jack Grealish
Reuters

“We have to be careful and not incite the crowd in the way goals are celebrated, to try to keep a lid on it and make sure things don’t boil over.”

St Andrew’s thug Paul Mitchell was jailed for 14 weeks, banned for life by Birmingham and from all grounds by a judge for ten years after attacking Grealish.

Sports minister Mims Davies had already called in the leagues, FA, PFA and anti-racism groups for a summit last month.

She said: “The incidents were a disgrace.

Protecting players’ safety is of paramount importance and every possible step must be taken to ensure that they are not put at risk.”

Taylor added: “There is a combination of potential sanctions. You can consider fines, ground closures, playing behind closed doors, even points deductions.

“But when we met the Sports Minister the issue of stewarding and policing together with education and stricter sanctions was discussed.

Aston Villa main man Jack Grealish says hitting the derby winner made it the best game of his career
Jack Grealish says hitting Villa’s winner made it the best game of his career

“It now needs a multi-faceted approach involving all relevant bodies, as was the case in the 1980s.”

Next month’s scheduled meeting of the “stakeholder” group including the leagues, clubs, PFA, LMA and referees will now be dominated by action plans.

LMA chief Richard Bevan said: “The game has a duty of care to protect individuals including coaches and other people in the technical area from physical or verbal assaults.

Players chief Gordon Taylor wants severe action taken for fans committing cowardly attacks on the pitch but also warned footballers to be careful not to celebrate too provocatively
Players chief Gordon Taylor wants severe action on fans for pitch attacks but warned footballers not to celebrate goals too provocatively
Getty – Contributor

“It is vital that safety standards are met, upheld and strengthened.”

EFL chiefs have pressed clubs to ensure security staff are prepared to deal with incursions as soon as any fans get near the playing surface with specific stewarding teams given orders to protect players and officials from attack.

Link

(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)

Loading...

Leave a Reply