Scottish fans on alert as Premier League clubs announce pyro ban for fans from next season

Football fans could be banned for using pyro
Football fans could be banned for using pyro

SCOTTISH fans are on alert after all 20 Premier League clubs have announced they will be banning fans caught using pyrotechnics for a year come the start of next season.

The top-flight teams have decided to clamp down on supporters in a tough way, with the aim being to curb the issue long-term.

Premier League clubs have signed up to issue automatic 12-month bans to supporters found guilty of entering the pitch or setting off pyrotechnics at matches.

All offenders will also be reported to the police by clubs with possible prosecution which could in turn lead to permanent criminal records or jail time.

The policy applies to home and away matches with parents and guardians of children who take part in "such activities" also facing possible banning orders.

No team in Scotland has yet signed up to similar terms but the statement on fan behaviour could influence a rethink on rules and bans elsewhere.

A Premier League statement read: "At the Premier League’s Annual General Meeting today, the EPL's member clubs discussed the issue of fan behaviour.

"They agreed to introduce enhanced measures ahead of the start of next season, underlining the importance of a safe matchday environment.

"The new set of actions will tackle a range of challenges - including missiles, pyrotechnics and pitch invasions.

"From the start of Season 2022/23, all identified offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, and could result in a prison sentence.

"Furthermore, anyone who enters the pitch and those identified carrying or using pyrotechnics or smoke bombs will now receive an automatic club ban."

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "It is vital that everyone feels safe at a football match.

"Supporters must be reminded it is illegal to enter the pitch at any time.

"To be clear, this area is unequivocally for football and, under no circumstance should players, managers, match officials or staff fear for their safety - just as fans should remain protected in the stands.

"In addition, we have seen an increase in the use of pyrotechnics and missiles, both of which are not only a criminal offence, but can cause serious injury.

"These types of incidents must stop, and new measures for next season will make that clear – the League fully supports club and football-wide bans for offenders.

"It is the minority who are behaving unacceptably, and they risk ruining the matchday experience for the vast majority of law-abiding fans.

"Crowd behaviour is an issue we and our clubs are addressing as a matter of urgency, in collaboration with partners and relevant authorities."