Premier League Announces Lengthy Ban for All Pitch Invaders – So What Does It Mean for the Fans?

Premier League pitch invasion

Premier League clubs have decided that any and all pitch invaders will be given an indefinite ban from the next game-week of matches. This comes after multiple cases of pitch invasions in the English top-flight towards the end of last season, putting players and coaches under threat.

Premier League Set Rule of Minimum One-Year Ban for Pitch Invaders

Premier League Set Rule of Minimum One-Year Ban for Pitch Invaders

The Premier League announced this ban after a discussion took place between representatives of all 20 clubs, who agreed that strict actions have to be taken against fans who invade the pitch during games. The league’s body said in a statement: “Fans caught carrying or activating pyrotechnics or smoke bombs, or entering the pitch without permission, will receive an automatic club ban with a minimum term of one year.

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“These bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in such activities (pyrotechnic/smoke-bomb or pitch invasion).” This last minute is particularly controversial, as it could force parents who are taking their children to keep a strict eye on their kids and ensure that they don’t jump over the railing in a moment of ecstasy and try to meet their favourite players during matches.

What Inspired this Drastic Ban?

Multiple cases of wide-scale pitch invasions took place in the Premier League last season, resulting in some very ugly scenes. After Everton’s 3-2 win over Crystal Palace in May, which guaranteed them avoiding relegation, a huge crowd of Everton fans invaded the pitch. Some even recorded a video of them harassing Palace boss Patrick Vieira, who ended up lashing out at them after reaching the breaking point.

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Manchester City were also charged by the FA after their dramatic Premier League title win on the last day of the season after a comeback win over Aston Villa. Almost the entire crowd of the Etihad Stadium descended onto the pitch afterwards and some fans even allegedly attacked Villa goalkeeper Ruben Olsen, shocking many and begging the question of player safety during such intense games.

Pros and Cons of Season Bans

What this ban will ensure is that players feel safer and more comfortable during matches. No player wants to be disturbed by fan invasions during the game, as it can make them lose concentration. Some players might have felt in danger after seeing how Vieira and Olsen were harassed last season, discouraging them from playing in games like derbies where crazed opposition fans can invade the pitch.

This rule will also somewhat soften the workload of the stewards and the security guards that have to keep their eyes peeled for pitch invaders during the game. They have the safety cushion of knowing that if someone slips past them onto the pitch, they will be charged for it. Moreover, this sends a message for fans to not try such antics during the game knowing that it can end up in a major penalty.

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While there are no major cons to this rule, as pitch invaders should be punished to stop games from being interrupted, it could be harsh on some fans. With the league also confirming bans for parents or grandparents that take children to the games – it could result in an unfair ban for an adult fan who didn’t mean to disrupt or harm a game. Children can often become ecstatic during games and get onto the pitch out of curiosity, which leads to the risk of a ban for both of them.