FA fines Huddersfield and Port Vale for pitch invasions after play-off matches

Huddersfield Town v Luton Town – Sky Bet Championship – Play Off – Semi Final – Second Leg – John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Tim Goode)

Huddersfield and Port Vale have both been fined by the Football Association over pitch invasions following play-off matches at the end of last season.

The Terriers have been issued with a £70,000 fine for the actions of a section of their supporters after their Championship semi-final victory over Luton in May while Port Vale have been docked £15,000.

The conclusion of their League Two semi-final second leg against Swindon at Vale Park saw the hosts win on penalties, sparking some unseemly scenes amid a pitch invasion as the visiting players made for the tunnel.

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Luton strongly condemned the actions of a number of Huddersfield fans, with manager Nathan Jones branding them an “absolute disgrace” and claiming he, his players and the club’s fans were accosted and abused.

A statement on the FA spokesperson Twitter account read: “An independent regulatory commission has fined Huddersfield Town FC £70,000 for a breach of FA Rule E20.1 that took place at the end of its game against Luton Town on Monday 16 May 2022 in the EFL Championship.

“Huddersfield Town FC admitted that it failed to ensure its spectators – and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers – conducted themselves in an orderly fashion, and refrained from using provocative, threatening and violent behaviour whilst encroaching onto the pitch.

“This sanction remains subject to appeal, and the independent regulatory commission’s written reasons for its decision will be published at the earliest opportunity.”

Huddersfield fans hold Harry Toffolo aloft following their play-off victory

Huddersfield fans hold Harry Toffolo aloft following their play-off victory (Nick Potts/PA)

Responding to the decision, Huddersfield’s operations director Ann Hough accepted the scenes were unacceptable and said strong action will be taken against spectators who go onto the pitch in future.

Hough said on htafc.com: “The severity of this fine is a clear indication of just how serious the events following our play-off semi-final win against Luton, alongside other similar scenes across football in that time, have been taken by the governing bodies.

“We fully understand what a superb moment reaching the play-off final was for our supporters and being able to celebrate together is a major part of being a fan. However, some individuals stepped way, way beyond that line on the evening.

“This is also why we constantly stress that nobody should be on the pitch other than the players and technical staff. There are genuine safety concerns about mass incursions of this nature, and the football authorities – and the club – cannot stand by and wait until a serious injury occurs.

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“We have no choice other than to take significant action against any individual that runs onto the field of play at any point, or who acts in a provocative, threatening, or violent way.

“That will range from bans from the John Smith’s Stadium to legal action. There is no place for that kind of behaviour at Huddersfield Town.

“On top of this significant fine, it is possible that this can also have financial knock-on effects on the club’s policing and stewarding costs if our games are now judged to be higher risk than before. The financial impact should not be underestimated.”

Port Vale admitted a similar charge, with the sanction also subject to appeal.

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