Football banning orders: Birmingham City had the most fans banned in the 2020-21 season

Home Office data has revealed the number of football fans banned from matches during the 2020-21 season

<p>St Andrews, Birmingham </p>

St Andrews, Birmingham

New figures have shone a light on the number of fans at each football club who have been given a football banning order – with Birmingham City supporters top of the list.

Blues had the most recorded new fans banned from its football matches in the 2020/21 season in England and Wales, the Home Office statistics show, with 27 orders - despite Covid restrictions limiting fan interaction last season.

They were followed by Liverpool with 17 fans banned.

Fans of the championship club were slapped with 27 banning orders, with 17 going to male fans aged between 18 to 34.

Two male youngsters aged between 10 and 17 were also banned.

The total across all English and Welsh clubs was 208.

Wolves are ranked 16th after issuing 3 bans to supporters last season.

The other West Midlands clubs were well down the rankings.

Aston Villa had 2 orders made against supporters and were joint 22nd in the list, and West Brom were joint 33rd with just 1 order made.

What are banning orders?

Banning Orders are a measure imposed by a court following a football-related offence.

It aims to prevent violence or disorder at, or in connection, with regulated football matches.

Banning orders can last for up to 10 years if immediate imprisonment is imposed and must be for at least six years.

The 2020/21 season started on 12 September, following a mere seven-week break after the 2019/20 season, which was disrupted by the pandemic.

On Monday (October 18), England was given a one-match stadium ban following unrest at Wembley Stadium during the Euro 2020 final, with the Football Association fined for the “lack of order and discipline inside and around the stadium” concerning the game.

The 10 clubs with the most new banning orders during the 2020/21 season

1. Birmingham - 27 new banning orders

2. Liverpool - 18 new banning orders

3. Bolton Wanderers - 17 new banning orders

4. Stockport County - 16 new banning orders

5. Manchester City - 5 new banning orders

6. Leeds United - 8 new banning orders

7.Portsmouth - 7 new banning orders

8. Bristol City - 8 new banning orders

9. West Ham - 6 new banning orders

10. Southampton - 5 new banning orders

Is there support for football banning orders?

A significant national drop in both arrests and new banning orders – which were down to 208 from 360 the season before – is linked to the vast majority of matches being played without spectators last season due to coronavirus restrictions, but also reflects a wider downward trend, the Home Office said.

Professor Geoff Pearson, expert in football-related disorder and hooliganism, said the use of banning orders to prevent further incidents from those convicted of football-related offences is “utterly sensible”.

Professor Pearson, senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Manchester, added: “The policing of football in this country has taken massive strides over the last decade and now we have a situation where the vast majority of matches pass peacefully.

“Those bans have played a significant role in reducing overall levels of violence and disorder, though what is less clear is the impact of bans on people who have not been convicted”, he said.

A Home Office spokesperson said football-related violence and disorder will not be tolerated, adding that the Government supported police in taking action.

He said: “We are also taking action to tackle online racist abuse in football by seeking to amend legislation so that online abusers can be barred from stadiums in the same way violent thugs are barred from grounds.”

Birmingham City Football Club has been contacted for comment in response to this story.

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