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IFO complaint ref: IFO113/114

The Independent Football Ombudsman ("IFO") has released its adjudication report regarding a 12-month suspension involving two supporters.

A copy can be found here: https://www.theifo.co.uk/a-12-month-suspension-involving-two-supporters-at-newcastle-united/ ("Adjudication Report").

The Club has worked closely with the IFO throughout this process, and is grateful for its ongoing support, and the recommendations found within its Adjudication Report (paragraphs 37 and 38).

In line with paragraph 37, the Club is reviewing its processes, with a view to adopting and publishing these online to ensure greater transparency for supporters. The Club will continue to collaborate with the IFO on this.

With respect to the two supporters referenced in the Adjudication Report, the Report states that the sanction is one which the Club is entitled to impose (see paragraph 36), and that the IFO is satisfied that the case was given due consideration by the Club at the time (see, in particular, paragraphs 33 and 37, noting that publishing our processes is good practice and the Club is working towards broadening their availability). In light of the circumstances of this case and the due process followed, each of which is articulated fully in the published Adjudication Report, the Club will not be re-evaluating this case, or re-visiting the sanction imposed.

For the reasons set out in paragraph 44, the Club does not consider that a good behaviour agreement is appropriate in these circumstances (see IFO’s recommendation at paragraph 38), noting further that:

'...in light of (i) the nature of the incident, (ii) the immediate proximity to the stadium and the attendance of both supporters at the match that day, (iii) the evidence reviewed, (iv) the guilty plea and criminal conviction (v) previous stadium conduct record of [Supporter 1], (vi) the attempts by [Supporter 1] to change the season ticketholder name and (vii) the fundamental direct breaches of each of the Club’s 10 year contracts and season ticket terms and conditions, it was considered that an appropriate sanction was a one year Stadium ban ' (paragraph 43).

The Club's full submission is contained within the body of the Adjudication Report (please also see paragraphs 42 to 45).

The Club is committed to consistency, fairness and proportionality with respect to all our supporters and any sanctions imposed. The Club never takes such decisions lightly, and whilst the supporters involved may be disappointed with the decision, the Club considers that it was the correct decision and therefore considers this matter closed.

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