Salford Red Devils totally condemn the actions of one supporter at the end of today’s defeat by Leeds Rhinos.
There is no point where the behaviour that was exhibited can ever be acceptable and the fan responsible will now face a lifetime ban from the Red Devils.
Referees head out onto the field at the start of each game with the players and put in 80 minutes alongside everybody out there.
Seeing your team lose a game is not a justifiable reason to attempt to intimidate a match official or opponent.
Rugby League has worked hard to ensure that the referee has ultimate respect from the players who take the field with him – our sport is the envy of many others in this respect.
It is therefore time that attitudes in stands and on terraces change and as a Club we will now strive to be at the forefront of ensuring that that level of respect becomes the norm.
Red Devils CEO Ian Blease said: “What happened at the end of the game was idiotic and the person responsible has tarnished the name of our great Club. This is the time families and children are sitting up and taking notice and it is beyond disappointing that a certain minority find it impossible to understand that the direction this Club is heading in is not one where they are welcome.”
“Not only did this fan’s action affect the referee but also members of our own coaching staff who were caught up in his actions – none of these people deserve to face any level of abuse, just like in any walk of life, it simply will not be tolerated. Sport is a passionate business but there is line of acceptability when it comes to behaviour”
“Our next game in the Super 8s will see the introduction of a text number where fans who feel intimidated or uncomfortable by the behaviour of others can text in anonymously and we will move on this information. We will be doing this in conjunction with the The Salford Stadium security team.”
“Abuse and lack of respect at the The Salford Stadium ends here. We had numerous complaints from parents today about foul and abusive language – the message is not getting through. We do not want you. You are not welcome.
“It is important to note too that the majority of these came from the West Stand, rather than the more boisterous South Stand. If our crowds are to grow we need people to want to come back and they will only do that if they enjoy their experience”
“With that in mind it is important to thank the 99% of supporters from both Clubs today who came along to enjoy a great top-of-the-table occasion. With the help of the true Red Devils fans we will make this the noisiest, yet most welcoming stadium in Super League.”
“We would like to sincerely apologise to James Child and his colleagues.”
The Club will release further information on its plans in the week.