FA looking to increase punishment for clubs over pitch invasions
Letter from Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn reminds clubs of responsibilities and "potential consequences of failing to take adequate measures"
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 14/03/19 1:15pm
The Football Association has warned clubs across the country that it is looking at ways to increase punishments for those who fail to take adequate measures to prevent pitch invaders.
The warning comes after a man was sentenced to 14 weeks in prison after he attacked Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish at last Sunday's derby against Birmingham at St Andrew's.
On the same day at The Emirates, another man was charged with common assault and invading the pitch during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United.
There was also an unsavoury incident in Scotland, with a man who confronted Rangers captain James Tavernier during Friday's match at Hibernian receiving a ban from all Scottish football grounds.
Sky Sports News has obtained a letter from the FA's chief executive Martin Glenn, addressed to all Premier League, EFL, and National League clubs, highlighting their health and safety requirements, and the potential consequences of failing to take adequate measures.
It reads: "I am sure I do not have to remind you of your responsibilities when it comes to ensuring the safety of not just those spectators who come to games at your clubs, but also the safety of all of your players, the match officials officiating, and anyone else assisting in the smooth-running of the game.
"The Football Association has the powers to take disciplinary action for spectators or unauthorised persons encroaching on to the pitch areas.
"In addition, we will be looking into what further action may be necessary going forward to ensure compliance with obligations and protection for all is maintained."
Under FA Rule E20b, clubs can face anything from a warning through to stadium closure and potential points deduction if found guilty of failing to take adequate action.
It is the second time the FA have warned clubs over pitch invasions this season after the FA's head of on-field regulation Tarik Shamel wrote to clubs in September, warning the FA would "pay particular attention as to whether players and officials have been adequately protected."