Sanctioning Policy

Sanctioning Policy

Stockport County Football Club is permitted to accept or deny an individual entry into Edgeley Park Stadium. The rights are set out in the contractual terms and conditions when purchasing a ticket, including the acceptance of specific ground regulations. Behaviour that breaches ticketing terms and conditions and/or ground regulations may invoke the club’s right to prohibit future entry and also may result in ejection, cancellation of tickets issued, prohibiting any future sales of tickets, require an individual (if under 18) to attend an educational course or be subject to an Acceptable Behaviour Contract.

Criminal behaviour at football matches will primarily be dealt with by the justice system, however on occasion, it is deemed more appropriate for it to be left to the discretion of the club.

Breaches of terms and conditions, ground regulations/criminal behaviour are categorised by seriousness. The club retains full discretion to use the sanctions available.

You do have the right to appeal within 28 days in writing, which will then be put before the Appeal Panel, consisting of 4 people; Ground Safety Team representative, Safeguarding Team representative, Community Team representative and GMP representative. A decision will then be sent in writing, signed off by all 4 members of the panel. Each sanction will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

If conduct/actions or misbehaviours is not listed below, the club will use its discretion when deciding to issue a club ban or any other sanction, but this will be considered carefully. The club retains full discretion to impose a differing sanction as they deem appropriate, based on the merits of each case. If any action is taken outside of the remit of this policy, then a rationale may be needed to be provided in the event of an appeal.

Breaches & Sanctions

Level One Breach: Immediate Ejection and Sanction in writing

  • Smoking Vaping
  • Alcohol related offences (not involving police)
  • Persistent Standing on stairs
  • Anti-social behaviour (including but not limited to Public Order Act 1986) examples such as persistent use of foul and abusive language, excessive gesturing towards opposition supporters.
  • Conduct that comprises the safety of the spectator and/or others
  • Non-cooperation with stewards
  • Ejection from home or away stadium (not leading to police involvement)
  • Reckless/intentional damage to club property
  • Incidents on public transport

Level Two Breach: Immediate Ejection and Ban in writing

  • Deliberate damage to property
  • Missile throwing
  • Pitch encroachment
  • Aggressive language and/or behaviour
  • Assault on the club’s premises
  • Use or possession of pyrotechnics
  • Use of or possession of illegal drugs
  • Use of any other prohibited items as per the ground regulations
  • Serious public disorder/anti-social behaviour
  • Hate crime/discrimination/tragedy chanting (includes online)
  • Breach of existing club ban

Please note some of the potential breaches noted above are criminal offences, it is likely those involved are either arrested at the time or subsequently invited to an interview by the police. As a result, criminal charges may or may not follow.

Breach Procedures

Level 1 Breach

Should you be found to be involved with or carrying out any of the incidents in level one, you will be brought to our Ground Control Security Office the club would carry out an ejection, dependant on the seriousness of the case, this may be followed up with a sanction or club ban and /or Police involvement. If you are under 18, our safeguarding team will contact your parent(s) or guardian(s) and the incident will be referred to the police and the Youth Offending Team, depending on seriousness.

Level 2 Breach

Should you be found to be involved in or carrying out any of the incidents in level two, you will be brought to our Ground Control Security Office, handed a banning letter and ejected from the ground. Depending on the seriousness of the incident, this may require involvement from the police in ground control, or at a further date. If you are under 18, our Safeguarding team will contact your parent(s) or guardian(s) and the incident will be referred to the Police and the Youth Offending Team, depending on seriousness.

Should you wish to appeal your ban, we encourage you to appeal within 28 days of the banning letter by contacting the safety team by email [email protected] or calling the office on 0161 266 2700.

The panel investigate the details surrounding your ban and send you a decision within 10 days of your appeal. The decision is final and cannot be appealed again. You may be called in to discuss the investigation, if you are under 18, a parent or guardian will be required to attend.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice brings those harmed by crime or conflict, or organisations whose regulations have been breached, into communication with those responsible. This practise can be used anywhere to prevent further conflict, build relationships, and repair harm where a conflict has already arisen, be enabling people to communicate effectively and positively.

This practice by the club can support individuals to recognise that their conduct/actions can affect others, that they should be responsible for their choices and can be held accountable for them if repeated. It will enable the club to help individuals reflect on how they interact with each other and consider how best to prevent further conflict.

Education

Running educational initiatives to improve awareness amongst the club supporters base, or tailored sessions to those who have breached the ground regulations, could be more beneficial. It is well established that educational schemes, will have a positive impact on the attitude and behaviour of those who engage and attend.

DRIFT – Disorder Reduction In Football Training Programme

The DRIFT programme is a club wide educational provision, which is offered to those under 18 who may have already received a sanction or banning order.

DRIFT consists of an 8 week programme (4 weeks classroom based and 4 weeks community service). Once the training programme has been completed in full, there is the opportunity to eliminate or reduce your sanction or banning order.

Upon completion of the full 8 week programme, the club would expect the individual to sign an Acceptable Behaviour Agreement, which asks the individual to abide by the ground regulations and any highlighted specifics, for example persistent standing in stairwells. If the contract is breached the club can use their discretion to impose an immediate, further sanction or ban.

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