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Love Football, Protect the Game

Love Football, Protect the Game_2

Angels to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviour ahead of new season

Tonbridge Angels is supporting an all football approach to ensure that every football fan feels safe attending matches. 

As we commence the new season, we’re backing the introduction of strong measures across football to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviours within football grounds. 

This includes entering the pitch without permission, carrying or using smoke bombs or pyros and throwing objects onto the pitch, as well as discriminatory behaviour and taking drugs. 

All of these actions are illegal, dangerous and have no place in our game. For everyone’s safety, all clubs will report anyone carrying out these offences to the police. Prosecution by the police can result in a permanent criminal record, which could affect your employment and education, and in some cases, result in a prison sentence. 

Anyone who enters the pitch without permission or uses smoke bombs or pyros will now receive an automatic club ban. This could also now apply to the parents or guardians of children involved in these activities. 

These measures reflect the seriousness of the risks to fans, volunteers and staff – pyros can burn at 2000 degrees Celsius and can cause life-changing injuries, burns and potentially fatal asthma attacks. Entering the pitch endangers everyone because it’s impossible to tell the difference between a celebrating fan and a violent attacker. That is why the pitch must remain a safe space for players, and the stands for supporters.  

Angels Chairman, Dave Netherstreet said:  "Many will feel that the kind of behaviour described above never involves Tonbridge Angels.  Well let me say that within relatively recent memory there have been no less than three occurrences involving Angels games that would fall into the categories of 'dangerous behaviour'.   Only a few weeks ago we read in the press that a non-league pre-season friendly had to be abandoned because of dangerous behaviour by some fans - incredible, but it happened.  It's surely going to be a very exciting season for Angels supporters with the new pitch but please don't lets spoil it by behaviour that threatens the safety of supporters and ruins the very special family atmosphere that we have at Longmead and for that matter when we visit other grounds.  Make no mistake, we shall be calling for the toughest penalties should any attendee to our games makes the mistake of committing one of those offences detailed above and of course we shall be briefing our security and stewarding personnel appropriately."

This season, Tonbridge Angels is supporting the FA, National League System Clubs and Leagues and the Football Supporters Association to make football a safer and more welcoming environment, by cracking down on dangerous behaviour that can put fans, players, staff and match officials at risk. We ask all supporters to come together to show that those who commit these illegal acts do not represent the majority of supporters.             

Published Friday 12th August 2022