Southport Football Club

Southport FC fans are being urged not to bring flares, smoke bombs or fireworks into games. 

The club is warning of a ‘zero tolerance approach’ to anyone found in possession of one, with potential penalties including three months’ in jail and a three-year football banning order.

The Sandgrounders play their next league game at home to Curzon Ashton at 3pm this Sunday (2nd January 2022). 

A Southport FC spokesperson said: “Supporter safety is a key priority for all football clubs, and we at Southport Football Club are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that your matchday experience is safe and enjoyable. We therefore fully support all efforts to reduce and eradicate the use of flares, smoke bombs and pyrotechnics at matches.

“Flares and smoke bombs disrupt play and people’s enjoyment of games, and the toxins they contain can seriously damage health and/or cause life-threatening injury or concern.

“Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device (flare, smoke bomb or firework) at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence.

“We will take the strongest action available against anyone found in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or any other such pyrotechnic device, and spectators are warned that we and The National League apply a zero-tolerance approach to anyone attempting to bring such device(s) into our Haig Avenue ground.

“Due to their chemical make-up, a flare, smoke bomb and all such pyrotechnic devices burn at very high temperatures and are designed to be used in wide open spaces. They are dangerous and can lead to serious health consequences for those with pre-existing medical conditions and can cause panic in a tightly packed crowd.

“In order to protect all supporters, we reserve the right to search your person and/or effects, and further reserve the right to pursue legal action, civil or criminal, against any person who contravenes current legislation or our ground regulations.

“The letting off of pyrotechnics at games is not showing support for this club, it is actually doing the opposite as it could cost the club money in unwelcome fines which could be put to better use for such things as players or items to help improve the supporter experience on match days.

“CCTV is in operation at all times at Haig Avenue.

“To further safeguard all who attend any event at Haig Avenue, we welcome the receipt of any information which will assist us to deter, apprehend, detain and, where appropriate, prosecute anyone in possession of, or found discharging or being a party to the discharge of, such a device.

“Courts have a sentencing guideline of three months’ imprisonment and a three-year football banning order. Those prosecuted face not only a criminal record and imprisonment but also many future difficulties, including restrictions on travel overseas and adversely affecting their future job or university prospects.

“Please support The Port safely and responsibly and we thank all supporters for their co-operation.”

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