$20,000 fine for Western Sydney Wanderers
FOOTBALL: The Western Sydney Wanderers have escaped a points deduction, with Football Federation Australia fining the club $20,000 after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
With a suspended sentence already hanging over their heads, the Wanderers are fortunate FFA opted not to trigger the points deduction.
The decision follows the display of an authorised and crude banner at last Saturday's Sydney derby by members of the Red and Black Bloc, portraying Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold performing a sex act. There were close to 45,000 fans at the match, including young children.
The Wanderers have already suspended 14 members of their active fan group who were responsible for the banner and FFA confirmed those fans will also be put through the FFA banning process.
An addition, the club will require the suspended members to undertake a social inclusion program and will monitor the actions of fans at matches and on social media. Any breach could result in the shutting down of the active area.
FFA has commended the Wanderers for acknowledging the club must carry responsibility for the actions of its fans.
"The actions of the Western Sydney Wanderers spectators responsible for displaying the banner and the ensuing celebration of the banner on social media were completely unacceptable,” head of the A-League, Greg O'Rourke, said.
"While we have noted and were pleased with the positive proactive measures undertaken by the Western Sydney Wanderers the fine reflects the fact clubs are responsible for the actions of their spectators and managing the approval of the game day banners and activities of their Active Fan Groups.”
FFA is working with the venue and security authorities to review other incidents of anti social behaviour from both Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers supporters at the Sydney Derby and will apply the FFA Banning Process to identified individuals.
"We have more than 60,000 spectators attend Hyundai A-League venues each and every week in our season,” O'Rourke said.
"We will continue to work with our clubs, venues, security and the police authorities to create a safe and secure environment that is not affected by the anti-social actions of a few.”