EFL CEO Trevor Birch warns of increased punishments should pitch invasions continue

·1-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

EFL CEO Trevor Birch has warned clubs could be forced to play in front of reduced crowds or be hit with financial penalties if issues with fan behaviour continue.

There was trouble during the play-off semi-final fixtures this season, with fans coming onto the pitch at full-time.

Nottingham Forest’s clash with Sheffield United was marred by trouble, while there were issues at Northampton and Port Vale too. The Premier League also had problems on the final day at the Etihad when Manchester City won the title.

In an open letter, Birch has called for the disorder to end and has warned that sanctions could be brought in if it does not.

“The EFL will be working with the various authorities on a series of measures during the close season to help reinforce that message and address the challenge that is being presented to the game,” wrote Birch.

“As part of this work the introduction of tougher but proportionate sanctions will now also have to be considered with your respective Club in the early part of next month.

“For our part, we will need to discuss what further measures could be introduced for the new season, including the potential use of capacity reductions, financial penalties, or other similar mitigations.

“The quickest and most straightforward solution to the problem is for all fans to think before they act and leave the pitch for the teams to play the game.

“That way there will be no requirement for authorities to get involved and everything can be settled on the field as it should be.”

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