STATEMENT: Behaviour, Communication and Online Abuse

STATEMENT: Behaviour, Communication and Online Abuse

The club would like to take the opportunity to clarify several policies regarding behaviour, communication and online abuse.

Southport Football Club is fortunate to have passionate and dedicated supporters who care a great deal about the club’s on pitch and off pitch performance. The vast majority of our supporters represent the club in an impeccable manner. The club receives regular feedback from other clubs praising the behaviour of our fans when travelling away. We know that the management, and the playing staff, are grateful for the support received during games, and for the willingness of fans to travel great lengths to watch the team, in any weather, in any circumstances. The club board is incredibly grateful for this, and we will continually strive to give you a club to be proud of.

However, the club was recently disappointed to receive reports from supporters attending with their families, of unacceptable abuse and foul language inside the ground.

Southport Football Club is a family-friendly club, and we cannot progress if families do not feel a part of our matchday experience. The club treats this matter very seriously and as such would like to clarify our stance on abuse, which will never be tolerated at our football club.

Our ground regulations, available HERE (PDF) and posted inside and outside of the stadium, clearly state that those engaging in foul and abusive language may be subject to ejection and banning orders (Rules 9,10,11,25). The club accepts football is a passionate sport and that it would be unrealistic and draconian to attempt to monitor every area of the stadium in this respect, but we do ask that care and consideration are given to our younger supporters, those attending with families, our opponents and visiting officials. Any issues arising can be reported to the nearest steward, or emailed to fans@southportfc.net.

Furthermore, the club wishes to clarify our stance on online abuse.

The club fully supports the right of supporters to criticise where they feel necessary. We value all constructive feedback received, be it positive or negative. However, in recent weeks there have been increasing levels of comment that the club considers to be “abuse”. Abuse in this context can be classed as (but is not necessarily limited to) any communication that makes false claims against an individual, or threatens, or intimidates any of our staff and volunteers. Again, the club treats this matter very seriously, and the board may regretfully be forced to consider action if this continues.

Thank you for your support,
The Board

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