Maidstone United say they have been left ‘shocked and appalled’ over offensive chanting during the match against Dorking Wanderers.
This has subsequently seen the Stones issued with a fine by the Football Association, the regulatory commission ordering the club to pay £2,500 plus costs.
Supporters ‘participated in misogynistic abuse’ with chants of ‘who brought the dog out? Who’s the slapper in grey? She’s got chlamydia’, something of which were aimed at a female visiting supporter.
What a cracking game last night….Maidstone v Dorking. Great win for us ⚽️
Amazing atmosphere….sadly marred by a small minority of teenage wannabe’s who felt the need to abuse a couple of our young female supporters
Do they really need to hear… “Who brought their dog out”, pic.twitter.com/uxaVnVRDVQ
— Kylie (@Kylie23027521) August 17, 2022
Maidstone had been playing Dorking Wanderers in a midweek National League clash at the Gallagher Stadium on the 16th of August, a match with nearly 2,500 fans in attendance. The chant was filmed and uploaded onto Twitter, as can be seen above.
According to documents released by the Football Association, Maidstone were charged with failing to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and failed to ensure those persons did not use words or otherwise behave in an improper and/or offensive and/or abusive or insult in manner with either express or implied reference to gender.
The charge alleged that “a not insignificant group of Maidstone United’s supporters participated in misogynistic abuse.”
Maidstone accepts liability at the first opportunity and the club’s chief executive Bill Williams wrote to the FA revealing how disgusted he was at the actions of a minority.
The chants were incredibly offensive 😡https://t.co/eQnwGFcrD1
— KentOnline (@Kent_Online) December 7, 2022
The FA wrote to Maidstone and requested further information of the club’s preparations for the match, including measures to present misconduct from spectators.
Williams was “shocked and appalled” after seeing the video clip posted on Twitter and was “disgusted by the language that was used.”
In his letter to the FA, he said: “As a father and grandfather, it sickens me that this generation has such a flippant attitude towards right and wrong.”
He said there was “generally good-natured rivalry” between the opposition fans, adding: “Some verbal warnings were given by SIA [Security Industry Authority] stewards to those who overstepped the mark when a goal went in or who tried to encroach on the segregation line.”
He adds that further warnings were given when “that vile chanting began.” As it involved ‘several individuals’, with stewards speaking to the group.
Maidstone went on to took action, used CCTV and photographic evidence to identify those responsible and warning them about their future conduct.
They would have to join the youth membership scheme with all under-16s should have an adult supervisor or be a youth season ticket holder to attend games.
Williams added: “A tiny minority are spoiling it for the vast majority and we will do everything we can to root out that tiny minority and continue to be a place where everyone is welcome”, that the chant on the evening was “disgusting and totally out of order”, and added: “I take no comfort from the assertion that it’s a national problem, it’s a problem that happened at my stadium and I will continue to do all I can, with the support of my matchday team, to promote high standards of behaviour and respect, and will take appropriate action against anyone prepared to go against that.”
Following the incident, a number of young fans were visited by a Police Community Liaison Officer with the FA commission stating that: “There was no direct evidence of the precise numbers involved, or of the duration of the chanting.”
They said: “We accept Mr Williams’ assertion that Maidstone United reacted speedily and appropriately by ensuring that stewards addressed the offenders in order to quell the chanting. We also accept Mr Williams’ outrage to be genuine, and note the positive steps that have been taken by Maidstone United to try to identify those responsible, and to prevent repetition.
“We also believe that Maidstone United is not a club that would encourage or tolerate such behaviour, and that it has reacted properly and appropriately.”
The FA add: “Perhaps the most potentially significant document that we have not seen is any specific pre-match risk assessment carried out by Maidstone United’s safety officer.
“Such an assessment is required by the Green Guide which states that a detailed risk assessment should be undertaken for each event before determining the final number, location and duties of all safety staff, including stewards.”
The commission accepts that Maidstone United had no advance notice of the abusive language and took steps to stop the chanting, reacted promptly and responsibly and have taken steps to ensure it didn’t happen again.
Twitter users reacted with Maidstone left ‘shocked and appalled’ over offensive chanting during the Dorking match…
@oliver_shergold: Unacceptable and sorry you had to witness that. As someone aged fifty-three and three-quarters might well opine, that’s kids today for you though. Won’t be the end of it either but remember that you are better than them and rise above it by being glad that you’re not like them.
@stephen_dimmock: Unfortunately there are too many people who just go to football to cause trouble, and they need throwing out immediately. Especially after the amazing events on 31st July
@adam_deadman: @maidstoneunited have had issues with segments of their crowd for absolutely ages, they came out and acknowledged it themselves before Christmas, doesn’t look like much has been done about it very sad to see
@CeriBalston: 100%. ‘Banter’ gone nasty, personal, and sexist, line beyond crossed. V disappointing and shameful. #HerGameToo
@alisonschofe22: If the girls need any support please message us at @HerGameToo 💛 we are so sad this happened