‘Stay Away’ is EFL message to trouble-makers after ‘reckless crowd behaviour’

The English Football League has stressed anti-social behaviour is “unacceptable” and that offenders can expect to be dealt with by police following incidents at a number of games on Saturday.

The EFL also emphasised the message that “those intent on causing trouble are not welcome at our matches and we ask you to ‘Stay Away’”.

MK Dons’ win at Wycombe saw supporters aim an offensive chant at Chairboys striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, which led to the game being briefly stopped. There was a lengthy delay in Rotherham’s win at Crewe after a linesman was hit by an object which appeared to have been thrown from the away fans section and Barnsley fans clashed with stewards while protesting the club’s ownership.

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The EFL said in a statement released on Sunday: “Following multiple incidents of inappropriate and reckless crowd behaviour on Saturday, the EFL will work with the relevant authorities and respective clubs to ensure those responsible are held to account.

Fans protest during Barnsley's match with Bournemouth. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“Any form of anti-social 
behaviour is unacceptable and whilst these instances only represent a very small section of people attending matches, the mindless few who choose to behave in this way are only 
demonstrating a complete lack of respect for the clubs they claim to support.

“Our message is simple - those intent on causing trouble are not welcome at our matches and we ask you to ‘Stay Away’.

“Anyone found to be behaving offensively at a football match can expect to be dealt with by the police and the club, who will continue to work closely with supporter groups to address the causes of violence from individual fans and will always support prosecutions when that is the appropriate course of action to take.”

“The EFL is disappointed that on a day when the footballing focus was on our league competition, the discussion is once again about matters off the pitch.

Stoke City fans following their side's equaliser at Huddersfield Town. Picture Bruce Rollinson

“We will continue to work with closely and collaboratively with our clubs, safety advisory groups and local police forces to ensure security operations in place are robust and effective, whilst also providing support when any incidents do occur.”