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Club News

Club Statement

18 October 2022

Club News

Club Statement

18 October 2022

Rochdale AFC wishes to issue the following update in relation to recent instances of crowd disorder.

As with all football clubs, Rochdale AFC's first priority on matchday is to provide a safe a secure environment for both home and away supporters. Whilst significant work has been undertaken to improve the matchday atmosphere at The Crown Oil Arena this season, at times, the actions of a very small minority of supporters have caused serious safety and security concerns. As well as the obvious reputational damage, there are also financial consequences for the club, potentially limiting the scope for spending in other areas, including the first team squad.

For example, following the conclusion of the Doncaster Rovers fixture on 01/10/22, there were large scale confrontations between home and away supporters outside of the ground, instigated predominantly by home supporters, that Police struggled to contain. Subsequently, Doncaster Rovers supporters coaches were attacked, including those carrying disabled supporters.

Prior to the Barrow fixture on 15/10/22, in the early afternoon before kick off, Rochdale AFC agreed to comply with a request from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to deny access to The Crown Oil Arena to supporters suspected of being involved in recent disorder. GMP investigations remain ongoing. Despite this, there were still notable instances of disorder within Sandy Lane, including but not limited to the alleged assault of a minor, and alleged use of class A drugs on the terrace itself.

Rochdale AFC would like to reiterate that any individuals proven to be engaging in serious disorder will face a stadium ban, and that those proven to be engaging in criminal activity could potentially face a football banning order, the minimum term of which is three years. For the avoidance of doubt, Rochdale AFC is bound by EFL Ground Regulations, the first regulation of which is stated below, and the full version of which is available here -

1. Notwithstanding possession of any ticket the Club, any police officer or authorised steward may refuse entry to (or eject from) the Ground any person: 
1.1 that fails (or in the Club's reasonable opinion is likely to fail) to comply with these Ground Regulations or any reasonable instruction issued by a police officer or authorised steward; and/or 
1.2 whose presence within the Ground is, or could (in the Club's reasonable opinion), constitute a source of danger, nuisance or annoyance to any other person.
The general approach of the club will be that while those subject to a stadium ban or football banning order will of course automatically be denied access, those complying in full with EFL Ground Regulations will be permitted access, pending the completion of GMP investigations. The club retains the right to search individuals prior to granting access to the stadium, and access will be denied for individuals refusing to be searched.

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