Secret shoppers to beat swearing at North East football matches

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PLANS to monitor swearing at football games have been criticised by clubs.

 Bosses of the Northern League, which has 46 clubs from around the North East, want to appoint “secret shoppers” to listen in at matches across the region.

 They would then “name and shame” clubs whose players and officials regularly use foul language and the league would publish a table of the worst offenders.

 But at the league’s annual general meeting a number of objections were raised.

 Sunderland RCA secretary Colin Wilson argued that appointing secret shoppers was not “open and transparent” and said referees should be responsible for monitoring language.

 Other representatives from clubs said they did not want people “snooping around their grounds”.

 But league chairman Mike Amos said: “There are half a dozen clubs which should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the behaviour of some of their people to go unchecked.

 “We want to make all our grounds fit for families to attend.

 “The best behaved clubs will be acknowledged and, possibly, rewarded. The worst will be named and shamed.”

The idea has the backing of the Football Association but not many of the clubs in the league.

The plan will be funded from the new £200,000 sponsorship deal the league has agreed with company Ebac.