Joint Statement by BT Ltd and The Board of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club (BTCFC)

Spectator Conduct and Behaviour

Introduction

As an important part of the transfer of responsibilities from BT Ltd to the Community Club (BTCFC), BT Ltd and the Board of BTCFC are looking at the question of serious spectator behaviour and misconduct by individuals at recent games, particularly Frome Town at home and the Hampshire Senior Cup final at Eastleigh FC.

Action

BT Ltd have already been asked by the Football Association for observations on spectator conduct at the Frome Town fixture. Separately Hampshire Police are conducting their own enquiry.

In addition,  we expect to be co-operating with Hampshire FA and the Police in relation to the conduct and behaviour of some of our supporters at the Hampshire Senior Cup Final.

There will be an examination of CCTV/mobile phone footage and eye witness accounts. We are expecting a disciplinary charge from Hampshire FA which as well as being potentially financially punitive will damage our reputation.

Individual supporters will be subject to club rules on unacceptable behaviour where potential sanctions include ground bans. Any penalty applied by the club would carry on to next season. Furthermore, we would like to point out that the proven possession and use of flares is not just a public safety matter but a breach of the criminal law with the possibility of prosecution.  

The incidents involving flares is particularly concerning to Hampshire FA as the future landlord at Winklebury with the potential to incur significant damage to an expensive artificial grass pitch. Such actions if not tackled quickly and effectively could compromise our planned move to Winklebury.

Supporters’ Liaison Officer (SLO)

It is considered that the move to Community Club status should improve the engagement with supporters.  However, the Community Club Board will be considering the case for the appointment of a dedicated Supporters Liaison Officer / Co-ordinator, in consultation with the Supporters Club. The  expectation is that the SLO will adopt principles already set by The Football Supporters’ Federation. This role is designed to improve two way communication with supporters and the board.
It is found in English football clubs and is a requirement for European competition.

Progress

We shall ensure that appropriate information is given as to progress on the subject matter of this joint statement.

BT Ltd & the Board of BTCFC                                      09 May 2019 

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