There have been a couple of disciplinary actions taken recently which may have surprised observors.
Firstly, Newport County were fined £3,000 for failing to control their fans after a linesman was hit by a coin during their turbulent and high profile FA Cup match against Swansea City. The linesman in question commented that the fine seemed a little low, but £3,000 to a club like newport is far from insignificant.
It’s difficult isn’t it? If the coin in question had missed, we’d have heard no more about the incident. Newport are being punished for the accuracy of the coin thrower.
Further North, reports suggested that Porthmadoc are being fined £16,000 for a single racist insult thrown at another linesman by a fan who was later forced to apologise by a steward.
Further investigation finds £15,000 of that fine suspended, but a dangerous precedent has been set.
I was involved a couple of years ago in an incident at Ninian Park. Two thugs had been shouting racist abuse all afternoon, and were eventually reported by a fellow supporter. A few other fans gave evidence along with stewards and CCTV footage showed their monkey taunts. The case went to court and the case was dropped due to “lack of evidence”.
But at Y Traeth, or any other WP ground, a single voice can be heard for half a mile. It seems grossly unfair that Port should be punished for a lone insult, especially when they took the appropriate action and have banned the person in question. If the racist did indeed apologise, that should have been the end of the matter. Port are appealing, and I hope they succeed.