CFU message to supporters
Every Cambridge United Supporter will now be aware of Simon Dobbin. Many will have heard about the events of that Saturday evening in Southend. Very few will know what truly happened. The people who witnessed it will live with it for the rest of their lives. Rumours can circulate and events become changed. What cannot change is the fact that a needless violent attack took place on an individual who did nothing wrong other than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
CFU is determined to work with the club to discourage people associating themselves with our football club who are more interested in arranging to meet up with similar groups to have a fight. These are not supporters of football but an element of society that, for some reason, use it as a vehicle to satisfy their desire to be alpha males. The CFU Abbey Helpers Meet and Greet initiative has been an important step to welcome new and old supporters to the Abbey Stadium. We can do more together and over the next few months will work with the club on initiatives to improve the fan experience for both home and away matches.
The number people involved in these negative activities is very small but can disproportionately affect the enjoyment of our thousands of true fans attending home and away matches. Everyone going to a football match should be entitled to enjoy the game, go to a pub afterwards and watch a rugby match. Everyone has a right to return home safely. No one has the right to take that away from another human being.
The football club has the opportunity as a private company to ban people from its premises. The police and courts have the opportunity to use Football Banning Orders. If banning orders are used it could mean the removal of passports and therefore could affect someone’s career or lifestyle through the restriction of their travel. Is it worth it? If you truly support the club then don’t be a part of the trouble. If you like to travel or have a job that depends on you being mobile then don’t be a part of the trouble. If you have a family or plan to have one would you like to take that child to a match? If you do then don’t be a part of the trouble because you won’t have the opportunity to do so. No one can make that decision or choice other than the individual involved. But the majority of supporters want an end to the violence.
The club can and will ban supporters for a period of time ranging from one year to life. For events associated with violence it will be for life.
The facts about Football Banning Orders:
Football Banning Orders are a preventative measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from traveling to football matches, both at home and abroad. Banning orders are issued by the courts following a conviction for a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force.
For an order to be issued, it must be proved that the accused person has caused or contributed to football-related violence or disorder and that an order will prevent them from misbehaving further.
Orders are not imposed on people solely on the basis of minor convictions, like alcohol offences or similar misdemeanours.
They can last between 3 and 10 years and can be customised to address individual behaviour patterns. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 6 months in prison.