Date: 1st May 2011 at 9:35am
Written by:

Rotherham United will probably be one of the clubs that will issue a warning in the next few days, requesting fans to Keep Off the Pitch at the end of the game next Saturday.

With a number of promotion and relegation issues still to be decided, the Football League are reminding fans that it is a criminal offence to encroach onto the playing field.

Speaking to the Football League`s Official Site, John Nagle, Head of the Football League Communications said, ‘Whilst we understand that fans want to celebrate their clubs success, it is a criminal offence to encroach onto the playing area and such action could lead to serious crowd disorder.

‘Already this season, we have had two instances of players being assaulted during pitch invasions and this is clearly unacceptable.

‘We encourage fans to stay off the pitch at all times. This will ensure that all supporters can enjoy the match in safety and prevent their club facing disciplinary action from the football authorities and increased stewarding costs.`

Rotherham fans have already witnessed a pitch invasion this season, when Northampton equalised at Sixfields recently, which seemed to be led by a gent in an electric wheelchair, all the while the stadium announcer saying, ‘Please get off the pitch. You are costing us money.`

The two recent incidents I can think of was when a Stevenage player was assaulted by a fan during their FA Cup game with Newcastle (although, this was more a private matter than football matter) and at the B2Net where Chesterfield fans (though perhaps young thugs would be a better description) ran on and taunted, then assaulted, the Bury ‘keeper – and I think we all saw the sickening photo`s of that incident.

I know these warnings about keeping off the pitch go out year after year, and we all moan, groan and laugh about them, but after the recent incidents maybe it`s time for more to be done?

What do you think? Have you ever run on the pitch at the end of the season? Will you do it again? Tell us your thoughts here at Vital Rotherham

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