Newcastle United have this morning issued this statement on their web-site:
Newcastle United have welcomed the guilty pleas of Steven Arkle and John Parkinson at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Wednesday in relation to two separate public order offences for pitch incursions at St. James’ Park.
The two men entered the field of play during United’s UEFA Europa League matches against Atromitos and Bordeaux. Both individuals have disputed the banning order and the case has been adjourned until mid December.
Steve Storey, Newcastle United Head of Security, said:
“I’m pleased they pleaded guilty and we at the Club hope that they receive strong sentences.” “It is not just to punish them but also to act as a deterrent to others. People who think that selfishly running on the pitch is fun or funny should realise it is not.”
“It’s a criminal offence which disrupts the game.” “It offends thousands of people inside the stadium, particularly when they run on naked. It’s beamed live throughout Europe and it has brought embarrassment to the Club given it’s the first time we’ve been back in Europe for many years.”
“We will be actively seeking compensation through the court for the financial penalty imposed by UEFA and we are taking legal advice to consider taking civil action against both men.”
“The Club are really disappointed that these two, who are not season ticket holders or Members of the Club, decided to carry out these acts.” “We hope that these two cases and the strong action the court and the Club are taking against both men, acts as a warning to anyone else who might consider doing similar in the future.”
There has been increasing security problems in security at football games in England this season, and only last Friday Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was attacked by an opposition fan, while playing against Leeds United.
Authorities and the FA in particular, must take some strong action soon, and it seems Newcastle are on top of this – to their credit.