Crime and Punishment
Sevco and SPFL
Watching Sevco fans running onto the pitch to celebrate another triumph (this time going 2nd), I wondered why they do this, why are they allowed to do this, are there any rules in place to stop them, and if there are, why are they not being applied?
So, onto Google, searched for “criminal offence entering field of play Scotland” and the 4th hit was the SPFL ground regulations. It was a pdf file, so I downloaded it and had a read.
This file lists the dos and don’ts for clubs, spectators and police regarding all things stadia. It’s title line is “Entry to this ground, whether on payment or otherwise, shall be deemed for all purposes to constitute an unqualified acceptance to be bound by and an undertaking to comply with these ground regulations and relevant football rules.”
So, no wriggle room. Unqualified acceptance.
After 6 rules about tickets, matches being abandoned, rule 7 hits the spot.
“Unauthorised persons are not permitted to enter upon the field of play, trackside or any place which is not a spectator area. Such incursions will be treated with utmost seriousness and will be liable to arrest and criminal proceedings as well as to disciplinary sanctions by the Club/Event organiser which may lead to long term exclusion from the ground.”
This rule is clearly aimed at Police Scotland and the HOME club. Now we know why they invade at away grounds but not at Ibrox. The lack of arrests lets the club off the hook. No info from season books to help identify the culprits, faces lost in the crowd, no one to ban, no problem.
Rule 10 states “The use of disorderly, violent and/or threatening behaviour and/or the use of foul and/or abusive language, racial, sectarian, homophobic or discriminatory abuse, singing and/or chanting of any kind and damage to property is all strictly forbidden, is UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT and each and all of same and if constituting a criminal act and/or acts may result in arrest and/or prosecution and/or in conduct which does not constitute a criminal act, a ban from the ground, regulated football matches, the confiscation of any ticket purchased or held and/or any other sanction as may be determined by the Club/Event organiser and/or in the case of a failure to comply with and/or a breach of football rules by the relevant football body.”
Now, by the time I got to the end of that I had just about lost the will to live. Another rule aimed squarely at Police Scotland. In the time they’ve been in the Premier league, we’ve witnessed all of the defined unacceptable conduct, and the response of plod has been zilch. Again, the club are allowed off the hook. No arrests, no problem.
I won’t reproduce the other rules they breach regularly, but I will summarise them.
Rule 11 list items which must not be brought into the ground. Weapons, knives, fireworks, smoke canisters, air horns, flares, laser devices, bottles, glass vessels, cans and anything that could be used as a weapon.
Rule 12 covers bringing in anything which if thrown could cause injury.
Rule 14 forbids standing in seated areas.
Rule 15 covers “banners and/or other articles which could…..cause annoyance or unnecessary offence…are not permitted within the ground.” I found this particularly pertinent after their disgusting slur on big Jock at the last game.
Rule 16 forbids throwing any objects or materials onto the pitch, surroundings, track or Technical area.
Rule 22 prohibits smoking and vaping.
Rule 23 prohibits granting admission to anyone under a current banning order.
The rules are worded specifically towards what will happen to fans if they break them. Nothing about sanctions against clubs is even hinted at. Until the clubs accept Strict Liability for the behaviour of the fans, they can covertly or overtly encourage unacceptable behaviour, safe in the knowledge that if Police Scotland actually do their job the buck stops with the fans. Evidence the difference in England, look at the response to the events at Millwall this week.
If we want to change this, we should focus our energies on getting the board to champion Strict Liability, and question openly why Police Scotland are turning a blind eye to all Sevco unacceptable behaviour.
Now, when I found the file I sent it to BMCUWP to embed as part of today’s post, but it wouldn’t work. I sent him the link but the document had vanished. I tried to find it again myself – gone.
Google promotes sites, files depending on how many hits they get, except in this case my hit had the opposite effect.
Above is a guest post by SOL KITTS. It can be your turn to make your thoughts public by mailing Mahe on