‘We are watching you with 150 cameras – and if you break the rules, you’re out.’
That was the strong message for York City fans as they headed to the LNER Community Stadium for the latest match in a topsy turvy season tonight.
The York Community Stadium Management Company (SMC) issued a statement following recent incidents where fans have run onto the pitch and tennis balls were thrown into the playing area.
Dozens of balls were hurled onto the pitch in the 11 December home game against Chorley as fans in the East Stand protested against the club’s board. It brought the game to a brief halt.
A few more tennis balls were thrown in the FA Trophy victory against Morpeth Town on Saturday.
And there have been several occasions recently where fans have run onto the pitch.
“York SMC make the safety of all fans the number one priority and would like to remind you of our ground regulations,” said the statement by the general manager Martin Jesper.
“These must be adhered to and are accepted when you purchase your ticket.
“Pitch incursion is a criminal offence and anyone doing so will be ejected from the stadium and banned from re-entry at any time in the future.
“Throwing of items onto the pitch may also result in ejection and a ban, due to the potential to cause injury.”
Anyone making racial or homophobic abuse “either verbal or via social media, twitter, Instagram etc will be banned from the stadium and details passed to the police”, the statement said.
It also said several seats have been damaged in recent matches. “Please refrain from misusing them, this includes standing and jumping. Continuous damage is ultimately costing your club as they must make them ready for the next match.”
A number of City fans have taken to social media recently protesting about stadium bans which they say are harsh or unfair.
The SMC says they use CCTV to gather evidence.
“Because the stadium is built around the highest technical specifications, we have at our disposal over 150 CCTV cameras.
“These are used to identify who has damaged areas and when, as well as identifying those who think they have got away with it.”
You can read the full statement here.