Club's response to request from supporters
The club has responded to requests from supporters as to why the club has set up a Report Hotline.
First of all, we want to stress that setting up the Report Hotline is not the club getting heavy-handed with supporters. In fact, it is a Football League recommendation that clubs must have a method whereby supporters can report racist or homophobic behaviour. The majority of clubs integrate it into their club charter and this is what we have now done.
We are pleased to report that no one has been ejected from the ground this season or subject to a banning order. There have been a couple of incidents where our stewards have had to talk to supporters to warn them about persistent foul and abusive language. We accept that there may have been an instance of over-zealous stewarding at the Gillingham game last week and before Saturday’s match with Scunthorpe we will be stressing to our stewards the need to maintain a common sense approach, whilst accepting that their role can be difficult at times.
We totally understand that football is an emotive and passionate game and at a match where there is not a big crowd the problem can sometimes appear worse than it actually is. Things are said in the heat of the moment during a game and this has to be taken into account by everyone – the club, supporters and stewards.
The club has a zero tolerance approach to racist and homophobic comments and there are certain words which, if used persistently and aimed at individuals, we would find unacceptable in a family-friendly environment but it is only then that we will warn the individual concerned.
We must stress that banning anyone would be a last resort and only after we have discussed the situation with the supporter concerned.
The club was praised in reports by the licensing authorities earlier this year for the safe environment we have at Crawley Town. Whilst we haven’t got the largest fan base we are extremely proud of our supporters who attend on a regular basis and who, in our opinion, are the equal of any in the country in their support of our club.
We are sure all supporters would want to play their part in maintaining the club’s good reputation and to get behind our team for the remainder of the season.