In a joint statement, OUFC Chairman Darryl Eales and Supporters Trust OxVox have appealed to fans following a further smoke bomb incident at Saturday’s match with Gillingham.
Darryl Eales said: “It is vitally important that fans understand the consequences of actions like this and the sanctions that can be imposed from the FA on the club. Equally, the discomfort suffered by fans in the North Stand on Saturday was unacceptable and I’ve had a number of supporters complain to me about the effects they suffered from the smoke.”
Eales went on to say. “I want the match day experience to be the best it can be and we are working really hard with OxVox to look at ways in which the fan experience can be improved and we’re making good progress, so I ask all fans to help us in stopping incidents such as this.”
OxVox Chairman Jem Faulkner re-iterated Eales’ comments and said: “It really is a situation that we (together) need to take out of OUFC match days. We’ve had numerous Trust members contact us and tell us that they want these smoke bomb incidents to stop. We have a series of initiatives under way with the club that we hope will in time improve the atmosphere and enjoyment for all fans. We’re working closely and very collaboratively with Darryl and Ian Mixter (Safety Officer) on a range of ideas that could really make a difference.”
Faulkner added: “It’s not just the smoke bombs themselves that concern us, it’s also, that a moment of madness from a fan who lets one of these things off, could see that individual face a lengthy prison sentence. There are a number of cases at other grounds, where fans that have been caught have been jailed. This would be a tragic consequence for a fan who may, at that moment, think it’s all just a bit of fun.”