Sunderland fans banned for booze, violence and swearing

FULL HOUSE ... Middlesbrough fans are unhappy at the ticket allocation given to them by Sunderland for the FA Cup tie.
FULL HOUSE ... Middlesbrough fans are unhappy at the ticket allocation given to them by Sunderland for the FA Cup tie.
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DOZENS of Sunderland AFC fans have been shown the red card after misbehaving at matches.

New figures reveal 53 Black Cats supporters are banned from attending games after being hit with a football banning order.

Twenty five of the bans for bad behaviour were given in the last year.

According to the Home Office figures, Cardiff City tops the table of shame with 143 fans banned from games.

In the 12 months up to November, a total of 126 Sunderland fans were arrested – the third highest arrests out of clubs across England and Wales.

Of those, 77 were made at home games with the remaining 49 at away matches.

A total of 60 were for booze-related offences, 32 for public disorder, 15 for pitch invasions, six for violent disorder and six for criminal damage.

A further three arrests were made for breaching a banning order, three for missile throwing and one for carrying a weapon.

The arrest figures are up on last year, when 112 fans were arrested.

Manchester United topped the table with 276 arrests.

Chief Supt Dave Pryer, head of Northumbria Police’s Operations Command, said: “People in the North East are passionate about football and turn out in their thousands to support Sunderland every week.

“The vast majority of fans are well behaved and act responsibly both before, during and after matches.

“However, there are a small minority of people for whom football is an opportunity for criminal behaviour.

“These are the ones we target to prevent them from spoiling the enjoyment of others.

“Northumbria Police works to proactively identify people involved in this type of behaviour. Where it is proportionate we use relevant legislation to prevent them from attending games.

“This allows the well-meaning vast majority of genuine football fans to attend matches without fear of disorder.

“As a force we successfully use banning orders as they mean we can put tight restrictions on the movements of known risk supporters, preventing them from attending fixtures.”

Black Cat bosses today said they operate a zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour and operate a strict social behaviour policy on match days.

Paul Weir, the club’s safety and security manager, said: “The safety and comfort of our supporters is always our utmost priority and the club’s stance on this is quite clear.

“We always aim to provide a positive experience for everyone who visits the Stadium of Light on a match day and by continuing to work proactively with supporters groups and Northumbria Police we are confident that are achieving that aim.”

Sunderland AFC chief executive Margaret Byrne added: “The safety of our supporters is not something we are willing to compromise on and we will continue to take a firm stance to ensure we provide a friendly, welcoming and above all safe environment for all fans.”

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