SUNDERLAND AFC may be bottom of the Premier League at the minute – but the club’s supporters are comfortably top-half when it comes to arrests at matches.
According to new data released by the Home Office, the Black Cats are fifth in the table for arrests.
In the 2012/13 season, a total of 71 Sunderland fans were arrested at league fixtures, with 38 people being given football banning orders between November 2012 and last month.
Forty-five arrests were made at the Stadium of Light, with the rest coming at grounds where Black Cats supporters were in away seating areas.
Of the 71 arrests, 33 were for violent disorder, 16 for alcohol offences, 12 for public disorder, five for racist or indecent chanting, one for pitch incursion, one for possession or use of fires or flares and two for breaching banning orders.
Neighbours Newcastle United, however, top the list, with a recorded 175 arrests and 58 supporters banned from going to games.
Northumbria Police arrested scores of people after Sunderland’s 3-0 win over the Magpies in April, after violence flared in Newcastle city centre.
Champions Manchester United came second in the table with 145 arrests, with neighbours Manchester City on 95.
Chelsea were just ahead of Sunderland, on 92 arrests.
London club Fulham are bottom with six arrests and four bans for supporters.
The figures for arrests in all matches in the Football League and Premier League has risen by four per cent on the previous year.
SAFC safety and security manager Paul Weir said: “The safety and comfort of our supporters is always our utmost priority, and it’s not something we are willing to compromise. The club continues to work proactively with supporters groups and Northumbria Police, and we will continue to take a firm stance to ensure we provide a friendly, welcoming and safe environment for all fans.”