Wolves have been fined £100,000 and ordered to agree to an ‘action plan’ after fans made homophobic chants during their home game against Chelsea on April 8.
An independent regulatory commission appointed by the FA has imposed the penalties after chanting happened twice, in the 61st and 71st minutes, of the game at Molineux.
Wolves admitted failing to ensure spectators conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.
The charge, which Wolves did not dispute, said fans had behaved “in a way which is improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to sexual orientation.”
The action plan, which was published today (Friday), orders Wolves to publish details of the charge on the club website and in the match programme for the first game of next season, condemning the chant and making clear that any fan found guilty will be banned from Molineux.
The plan also instructs the club to review the training given to the stewards on dealing with offensive chanting and to update their matchday planning to address any similar potential issues.
And it tells the club to develop education programmes to alert fans to the meaning of chants, to develop media campaigns on the issue and to use the club website, programme and PA announcements to warn fans about chanting.
Wolves made PA announcements during the Chelsea game asking fans not to repeat the chant but the commission’s report said the announcements should have made clear that they referred to homophobic abuse.
On the decision, a Wolves spokesperson said:
“We accept the decision and punishment handed to us by the FA’s regulatory panel, and once again reiterate that homophobia, like all other forms of discrimination, has no place in football or society.
“Our ethos at Wolves is about being ‘One Pack’ — an attitude our supporters are very passionate about and that extends to our relationships across the football community, regardless of rivalries or what happens on the football pitch.
“Homophobic chanting is offensive and wholly unacceptable. Hearing discriminatory language negatively impacts peoples’ experiences of football and is also in direct opposition to the values of Wolves. Furthermore, it is a criminal offence, as illustrated by numerous prosecutions relating to the chant, one of which is a Wolves supporter in attendance at the match in question, resulting in a three-year football banning order and a fine issued by the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Source: The Athletic