With regard to the recent documentary on Channel 5, the Club has issued the following statement.
The Club was extremely disappointed when the Channel 5 documentary 'Hooligan and Proud' was brought to the attention of Club Officials earlier this week.
As a company, we are committed to being a friendly, welcoming Club. We have members of the public requesting admission into the grounds on a daily basis for several different reasons such as: members of the public wanting to take photographs of the pitch; season ticket holders choosing their seats; assistance for school projects, just to name a few. All visitors on non-match days are not permitted to wander freely around the stadium and only when a member of staff at Rochdale AFC is available to accompany visitors into the ground and escort them back should members of the public gain access.
June 2014.thHowever, the individual featured in the Channel 5 documentary in question was not given access by any Rochdale AFC member of staff, to enter into the grounds at Spotland Stadium nor consent to film inside the stadium for the purpose of the programme aired on Wednesday 11
The Club does not condone the violent behaviour of the small number of individuals who try to link themselves with our Club as being genuine supporters. Any genuine supporter would not participate in any programme that would tarnish the Club’s reputation as a Club who have minimal issues/instances of disorder involving Rochdale AFC fans.
During the time of filming for this Channel 5 documentary, we had a vast amount of media interest following the team’s success in the run up to the end of the season with the possibility of returning to League 1. We feel, therefore, that we had been misled into believing that this media request would be beneficial to the Club and that all contents would be nothing but positive.
We can confirm that the supporter with the Channel 5 team was not the individual featured in the Channel 5 documentary. We are fully aware that the individual featured in the programme has a 4 year football banning order and therefore no member of staff would knowingly allow this person entry into the football ground. Rochdale AFC officials are still looking into how this individual gained entry.
Unfortunately, this is one of the challenges we face in our industry. This was an isolated incident and Rochdale AFC will endeavour to ensure that this does not happen again. Our only fault is being a friendly, approachable Club.
We do hope that this statement goes some way as to restoring your faith in us as we move forward into League One. It is time that this matter was brought to a close as we continue with a positive attitude for the forthcoming season.
We work closely with Greater Manchester Police and Chief Superintendent John O'Hare has issued the following statement:
“Every year, we police a large number of football fixtures held here in Greater Manchester, including Champion’s League games, the Premiership, the Championship and most other divisions.
“Hundreds of thousands of people attend football matches here in Greater Manchester every year and as a Force, we have an excellent track record when it comes to policing these games.
“Our primary responsibility is to ensure public safety and to minimise any risk to genuine supporters attending games. This is why we work very closely with all the football clubs to identify those individuals who seek to cause trouble and engage in disorderly behaviour.
“ Although these people are in the minority, we will not tolerate any disorderly or intimidating behaviour, and that is why Football Banning Orders are so important and have played such a vital role in minimising disorder at grounds around Greater Manchester.
“These orders are granted by a court when there is clear evidence that individuals have committed violent acts or have gone to football grounds intent on causing trouble and spoiling it for others. We will continue to serve these orders on these individuals so that genuine fans can enjoy the game without fear or intimidation.”