Conduct

UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Under the rules and regulations of the SPFL, and the SFA, the club is obliged to indicate examples of unacceptable conduct and to inform spectators of this and the consequences for them and the club of engaging in any form of unacceptable conduct when attending football matches generally, and here at New Douglas Park (SuperSeal Stadium) in particular. A person present at or in a stadium where an official match is being played engages in Unacceptable Conduct where their conduct is violent and / or disorderly.

Conduct is violent where there is (i) actual, attempted or threatened physical violence against a person or persons; or (ii) intentional damage to property. Disorderly conduct includes (i) conduct which stirs up or sustains or is likely or designed to stir up or sustain, hatred or ill will against or towards a group of persons based on their membership or presumed membership of a group or against an individual who is or is presumed to be a member of such a group; (ii) using threatening, abusive or insulting words or conduct; (iii) displaying any writing or other thing which is threatening, abusive or insulting; and, (iv) using words or conduct or displaying any writing or other thing which indicates support for, or affiliation to, or celebration of, or opposition to an organisation or group proscribed in terms of the Terrorism Act 2000. – such group categories referred to are – male or female; colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin; membership of a religious group or of a social or cultural group with a perceived religious affiliation; sexual orientation; transgender identity; and disability.

The home club must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that its players, officials, supporters and any person exercising a function for or connected with the club do not engage in Unacceptable Conduct at a stadium on the occasion of an official match. Any failure by a club to discharge a requirement to which it is subject by virtue of these rules, shall constitute a breach of these rules. Proceedings in terms of the rules against a club can be instigated when the SPFL has received information from the Police; the Scottish FA acting on information received from a match official; any league representative attending the match; or from the other club involved in the match. The rules referred to above are SPFL Rules H25 – H39 inclusive of season 2016-17. The club will  act upon any information received by it from Police Scotland, which could indicate an arrest or conviction or football banning order, and this will result in the spectator concerned receiving a ban by the club, in addition to any other sanctions imposed by any other authorities. In addition any season ticket holders engaging in such behaviour, or guilty of barracking players and / or officials at any match, home or away, are likely to have their season ticket withdrawn without any recompense to the owner. Spectators are reminded that any form of flare, Bengal light or smoke emitting device are strictly prohibited under ground regulations.

Updated 1st October 2016  ***** see below

 

NOTE – THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES TO ALL CLUBS, AND SUPPORTERS, ON UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT TAKE EFFECT FROM 1ST JANUARY 2017

These are the expectations placed upon the club by the football authorities. All persons entering the ground for a match should be aware of these, the expectations upon the club, and the expectations upon those entering for compliance, good behaviour etc

 

Guidance by the Scottish Professional Football League Limited to Clubs on Unacceptable Conduct at a Stadium on the occasion of an Official Match in Terms of SPFL Rule H37.
Effective:- 1 January 2017.
 
SPFL Rules H33, H34 and H35 describe the responsibilities of Clubs in this area. They are included below for ease of reference. Capitalised words and phrases used in this Guidance have the meaning given to them in the
SPFL Rules. The footnotes to the Guidance comprise part of the Guidance.
H33
The Home Club in any Official Match must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable,
H33.1
good order and security;
H33.2
that policies and procedures have been adopted and areimplemented to prevent incidents of Unacceptable
Conduct; and
H33.3
that any incidents of Unacceptable Conduct are effectively dealt with, all at its Stadium on the occasion
of an Official Match
H34
Each Club must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that:
H34.1
its Players, officials, supporters and any person exercising a function for or connected with the Club do not engage in Unacceptable Conduct at a Stadium on the occasion of an Official Match;
H34.2
it identifies any of its supporters who engage in Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match; AND
H34.3
it takes proportionate disciplinary measures in respect of supporters so identified in terms of Rule H34.2.
H35
Any failure by a Club to discharge a requirement to which it is subject by virtue of Rules H33 and/or H34 shall constitute a breach of these Rules.
The definition of what constitutes Unacceptable Conduct is provided at SPFL Rules H25 to
H32.
An Official Match is a match played in any Competition owned and operated by the SPFL.
1
The Scottish FA has its own Guidance applicable to the Scottish Cup.
SPFL Rule H33 applies to the Home Club in relation to any Official Match and SPFL Rule H34
applies to both the Home and Away Clubs in relation to any Official Match.
In considering any alleged failure to discharge the requirements of SPFL Rules H33 and/or
H34, which may constitute a breach in terms of SPFL Rule H35, a decision maker shall take
into account whether the Club concerned has complied with this Guidance.
2
In determining whether all reasonably practicable steps have been taken by a Home Club it is
recognised that stadium operations prior to and during an Official Match may be subject to
the control of a police match commander and decisions taken by other public authorities.
3
Whether to intervene in the case of an incident of Unacceptable Conduct during the course
of an Official Match may, depending on the match arrangements, be subject to determination
by the police, and not necessarily by the Home Club.
In this Guidance a Club’s “Home Ground” is any stadium, including its Registered Ground, at
which it is the Home Club in an Official Match.
Each Club should:
Club Unacceptable Conduct Statements
1.
Issue and publish a written statement in all forms of Club communication to its
supporters, including on any Club website, by email and by all forms of social media
used by the Club, that it condemns and will not tolerate any form of Unacceptable
Conduct by any person at Official Matches at its Home Ground and by or amongst its
supporters, Officials, Players and others connected with the Club at Away Matches
(“the Statement”).
2.
Include:
(i)
in the Statement notification that search procedures may be operated by the
Club at its Home Ground, that those entering its Home Ground are deemed to
have agreed to be subject to such search procedures and that items may be
confiscated during such a search if they are considered to fall within
paragraphs 6 and/or 7 of this Guidance;
(ii)
in the Statement examples the type of behaviour considered to constitute engaging in and/or contributing to Unacceptable Behaviour;
(iii)
in the Statement examples of disciplinary sanctions(s) that the Club may take against those who are established by the Club to have engaged in and/or contributed to Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match; and
(iv)
the Statement in full in all match day programmes and similar Club publications, be posted in full in an easily accessible position on any Club website(s) and be referred to on Club social media messaging.
3.
Display copies of the Statement permanently and prominently throughout, including at all entrances to, its Home Ground and replace any removed or defaced copies of the Statement before the next Official Match at that stadium.
Match Announcements
4.
Make announcements over the stadium public address system at every Home first team Official Match and at every other Home Official Match at which the number of supporters present exceeds 250, condemning all forms of Unacceptable Conduct.
Ground Entry Conditions
5.
In relation to all Official Matches, make it a condition of its Season and all match day tickets and its ground entry conditions and/or regulations that purchasers and holders of such tickets and all other entrants to its Home Ground:
(i)
must not engage in Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match;
(ii)
adhere to the ‘Fans’ Charter’ published by the Scottish FA at www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish_football.cfm?page=3441
and any amended or replacement version of that Charter;
and
(iii)
agree to be subject to being searched on seeking entry to and whilst in its Home Ground for any flag(s), banner(s) and the like which may contain offensive or otherwise unacceptable material and/or flares, fireworks, devices capable of emitting smoke or the like and/or any other object which may cause
or be part of Unacceptable Conduct and that any such item(s) brought into or attempted to be brought into its Home ground shall be liable to be confiscated.
Search and Confiscation
6.
If it suspects that a person seeking entry to or within its Home Ground for an Official
Match may have in his/her possession any flag(s), banner(s) and the like which may
contain offensive or otherwise unacceptable material and/or flares, fireworks, devices
capable of emitting smoke or the like and/or any other object which may cause or be
part of any incident of Unacceptable Conduct then it shall require that person to be searched and shall search that person and confiscate and deliver to the police any such flag(s), banner(s) and the like which may contain offensive or otherwise unacceptable material and/or flares, fireworks, devices capable of emitting
smoke or the like and/or any other object which may cause or be part of any incident of Unacceptable Conduct.
7.
Advise all entrants to a stadium at which an Official Match is or will be played that any person having any such any flag(s), banner(s) and the like which may contain offensive or otherwise unacceptable material and/or flares, fireworks, devices capable of emitting smoke or the like and/or any other object which may cause or be part of any incident of Unacceptable Conduct on his person or any such person refusing to be
searched shall not be admitted to the ground and any Season book/ticket or ticket held by him/her shall be liable to be confiscated without compensation and he/she shall be liable to such other proportionate sanction as the Club may determine.
Collection and Sharing of Ticket Issue Information
8.
For Official Matches for which tickets have been or shall be sold and/or issued by the Home Club and/or where the Home Club has issued tickets to the Visiting Club to sell and/or issue to the Visiting Club’s
supporters the:
(i)
Home Club shall, except where it is impracticable to do so in circumstances where a ticket is sold by the Home Club at an entrance to the stadium in the period immediately before an Official Match as part of a complete transaction without any form of pre-ordering and where the transaction allows immediate
entry to the stadium for a single match to the purchaser, record the names and addresses of all of those to whom it has sold and/or issued a ticket or tickets for any part of the stadium;
(ii)
Home Club shall, when recording the names and addresses of all of those to whom a ticket or tickets for the Visiting support area(s) of its stadium for an Official Match are sold and/or issued by the Home Club, obtain consent to the disclosure of that information to the Visiting Club;
(iii)
Home Club shall, if requested to do so by the Visiting Club, provide the names and addresses of those to whom it has sold and/or issued a ticket or tickets to a Visiting support area of its Home Ground for an Official Match;
(iv)
Visiting Club shall, record the names and addresses of all those to whom tickets for a Visiting support area are sold and/or issued by the Visiting Club and shall obtain consent to the disclosure of that information to the Home Club;
(v)
Visiting Club shall, if requested to do so by the Home Club, provide to the Home Club the names and addresses of those to whom it has sold and/or issued a ticket or tickets for the relevant Official Match; and
(vi)
Home Club and the Visiting Club shall, if requested to do so by the Company, each provide to the Company, where recorded, the names and addresses of all of those to whom each has sold and/or issued a ticket or tickets for any part of the stadium for an Official Match.
Internal Disciplinary Action
9.
Take disciplinary action against any Official, Player or other employee or contractor of
the Club who engages in or contributes to Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match.
PreMatch Information Sharing
10.
Contact in advance of each Official Match at its Home Ground the Visiting Club against which it is scheduled to play such Official Match and any Match Delegate for such Official Match appointed by the League, to ensure that they each understand the Home Club’s policies and procedures regarding, to deal with and to prevent incidents of Unacceptable Conduct within its stadium. In the case of an Official Match in the
Premiership, such contact shall be by meeting in advance of such an Official Match.
Policies and Procedures
11.
Develop, document, implement and communicate a strategy, policies and procedures to be followed at Official Matches at its Home Ground by its Officials, Players, ground safety and operations staff, stewards, police and Officials of Visiting Clubs for preventing and dealing with incidents of  Unacceptable Conduct; to include the identification of those who engage in such Conduct and, where reasonably practicable and supported by requisite evidence, the apprehension by police of such individuals within the stadium on the occasion of the Official Match or later where it is not reasonably practicable to undertake such apprehension within the stadium.
Removal of Unacceptable Material from Grounds
12.
As soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, before the next Official Match at its Home Ground, remove from its Home Ground any and all graffiti, propaganda or the like which constitutes, encourages or promotes Unacceptable Conduct.
Development of Programmes
13.
Develop proactive programmes and make progress towards raising awareness of the prevention and, where present, elimination of Unacceptable Conduct in stadia in which Official Matches take place; in conjunction with, amongst others, supporters, schools, voluntary organisations, local authorities, local businesses, sponsors, police,players, Officials and players’ representatives.
Annual Report
14.
Within two months of the last day of each Season make a written report to the Secretary including:
(i)
all such programmes operated by the Club and the progress made with such programmes since the last such
report;
(ii)
the measures taken by the Club to prevent and, where present, eliminate in stadia within which Official Matches take place Unacceptable Conduct;
(iii)
a summary of the number and type of incidents of Unacceptable Conduct: (a) at its Home Ground and (b) involving its Officials, Players and supporters at
Away Grounds;
(iv)
details of all identifications made and disciplinary actions taken against its players, Officials, supporters and others in connection with and arising out of incidents of Unacceptable Conduct at Official Matches; and
(v)
a copy of the Statement of the Club concerned for the next Season.
Incidents of Unacceptable Conduct
15.
Bring any Unacceptable Conduct during an Official Match at its Home Ground to the immediate attention of:
(i)
any police match commander or his nominee; and
(ii)
to the Club’s safety officer or other Official having control of the stadium.
16.
Take all reasonably practicable steps, including by the involvement of spectators, supporters groups, stewards, police, players, Officials and others, to identify those who engage in and/or contribute to Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match.
CCTV Systems and Retention of Data
17.
If it is a Club entitled for the time being to participate in the Premiership, install and fully utilise at every Official Match at which it is the Home Club an efficient and effective CCTV system capable of identifying, recording and retaining the facial image of persons engaging in Unacceptable Conduct within the areas of its Home Ground where the Match may be viewed and at other locations within the stadium to which
spectators have access.
18.
Record and retain all moving and still images and audio recordings of spectators and Officials taken and/or made by or on behalf of a Club relating to or concerning an Official Match until the later of:
(i)
not less than [14] clear days have elapsed after the relevant Official Match; and
(ii)
where the Company has notified a Club in writing that there is or may be an investigation by the Company regarding Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match, the Company has given written permission for such recordings not tobe so retained.
Investigation and Reporting of Incidents of Unacceptable Conduct
19.
Where it has any evidence or information that they may have been Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match in which any one or more of its Officials, Players, supporters or others engaged or contributed to, except to the extent that it would be unlawful for the Club concerned, expeditiously:
(i)
investigate such alleged engagement and/or contribution on the part any one or more of its Officials, Players, supporters or others connected with the Club;
(ii)
impose disciplinary action/sanctions, as set out in paragraphs 9 and 21 of this Guidance, on those established to have so engaged and/or contributed to such Unacceptable Conduct; and
(iii)
report in writing to the Secretary, the details of all incidents of Unacceptable Conduct in which any of its Officials, Players, supporters and others connected with the Club have been engaged and/or have contributed to, the investigation carried out, the identity of those identified as having engaged in and/or contributed to such Unacceptable Conduct and the disciplinary action taken against those established to have so engaged and/or contributed.
20.
Fully liaise with the police so as to assist any police investigations into an incident which may involve criminal conduct at an Official Match and seek to obtain from the police any evidence in the possession of the police which may assist a Club investigation, a Company investigation and/or the identification and disciplining bythe Club of an Official, Player, other employee, contractor or supporter of the Club who has engaged in and/or contributed to Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match.
Sanctions for Unacceptable Conduct
21.
Apply proportionate sanction(s) against a supporter or person exercising a function for or connected with that Club (other than as an Official, Player or other employee or contractor of the Club, each of whom are to be dealt with in terms of paragraph 9 above) who engages in Unacceptable Conduct at an Official Match and who has been, or is reasonably capable of being, identified. The range of such sanctions should include exclusion from the Home Ground of the Club concerned, exclusion from all forms of Club organised and/or supported travel and/or the confiscation, without compensation, of any Season book/ticket(s) held by such person for a period or periods of time or indefinitely and/or the exclusion from being able to purchase or
otherwise acquire tickets for Away Matches which may be sold or otherwise distributed by the Club concerned.
Club Records
22.
Keep a written record, a copy of which should be promptly made available to the Secretary on request, of all requests made by the Club for police assistance and/or police intervention in relation to incidents of Unacceptable Conduct at its Home Ground at Official Matches and the response of the police to such
request(s) and of all Club investigations regarding alleged Unacceptable Conduct and any disciplinary
action taken and/or sanctions imposed.
 
Last reviewed and updated by the Board on 20th January 2017