Jones: Fans must take responsibility

  • Last Updated: October 23 2012, 19:01 BST

Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones has called on all decent football fans to "weed out" the minority of troublemakers among them to safeguard the future of the game.

Dave Jones: Fans must 'weed out' the troublemakers

at Hillsborough, where Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was attacked by one supporter who had run on to the pitch to celebrate Michael Tonge's second-half equaliser.

Aaron Cawley, 21, from Cheltenham, has since been jailed for 16 weeks and handed a five-year football banning order after pleading guilty to assault and entering the pitch.

The incident was one of a number of ugly scenes, with Jones afterwards describing Leeds fans "as vile animals" while home supporters sang songs relating to the deaths of two Leeds supporters in Turkey in April 2000.

And Jones said on Tuesday: "I've apologised to the good supporters and I think now we've got to draw a line under it, it's getting a bit tedious, but I will say again the fans in the end are the only ones who can stop it.

"The stewards are there to help show people to their seats, they're not there to fight or control the fans, while the police were there in force in all their riot gear and is that right?

"There's an argument that that antagonises the situation, so for me it's the fans who still have a responsibility to kick out the minority of hooligans.

"Neil (Warnock) said that you have to expect it, but there's banter and there's banter and until we don't expect the type of things that went on, nothing will change.

"It's down to the good supporters, and they are in the majority, to weed out the types we saw on Friday night."

Leeds have responded to the ugly scenes on Friday by launching an initiative designed to eradicate what they describe as "vile chanting" inside stadiums.

In a statement issued ahead of Tuesday night's npower Championship clash with Charlton, the West Yorkshire club called for fans who hear "sick chants" to "turn their backs on the game".

In launching the initiative, Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "In an age when so much has been done to improve the game's image it is sickening that these vile chants can still be heard in and around stadiums up and down the country.

"Our fans have been the perpetrators and the victims of vile and sick chants, particularly with reference to the two fans who lost their lives in Istanbul 12 years ago. We don't believe there is any place for this in football.

"We are asking our fans to show their feeling towards any vile chants they may hear by turning their backs in response, rather than react in any other way."

The requesting of fans to turn around is a poignant one for Leeds, for that is what they did to mark the 10-year anniversary of the deaths of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight - the men who died in Istanbul - at an away game with Yeovil in 2010.

However, despite the club's actions, chairman Ken Bates believes the events of Friday night could have hindered the ongoing takeover negotiations with Bahraini investment company GFH Capital.

The two parties have been in talks since May, and Bates on Tuesday night confirmed that GFH had made an upfront payment of £2million. A deal remains off the table at the moment, though, and Bates said: "What message does that (Friday) give to potential investors and commercial partners?

"I don't know what they (GFH) must be thinking after watching Friday night's events unfold."

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