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Wolves and Dragons both fined following crowd trouble in France

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WARRINGTON Wolves and Catalans Dragons have both been fined following a RFL investigation into crowd trouble following their fiery clash in Perpignan on August 3.

Catalans Dragons have been fined £27,500 and Warrington Wolves £15,000, following the investigation into the events which followed their Betfred Super League fixture.

Both clubs have accepted the findings and reached an ‘Agreed Decision’ with the RFL in accordance with RFL processes.

The Catalans Dragons fine includes an amount of £1,000 suspended from 2018 in relation to a fixture against St Helens. £10,000 of this fine has been suspended until the end of the 2021 season.

The club must also bear two thirds of the costs of the investigation.

Warrington Wolves will pay for the remaining third of the costs, with £5000 of their fine suspended, also until the end of the 2021 season.

Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves each accepted that they had a case to answer in relation to crowd misconduct at the fixture, as each club has a responsibility for the actions of its own supporters and a duty to take all reasonable steps to ensure their proper behaviour wherever a match is held. Both clubs acknowledged that the events of Saturday 3 August brought the game into disrepute.

The higher fine imposed on Catalans Dragons reflects the host club’s sole responsibility for the management of its ground when it is open to the public.

In this respect, Catalans Dragons’ matchday planning and stewarding provision were deemed inadequate, and the response to incidents unsatisfactory.

Karen Moorhouse, RFL Chief Regulatory Officer, said: “The behaviour of some of the supporters at this fixture was completely unacceptable and has no place in Rugby League – importantly, both Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves have accepted that, and committed themselves to taking positive steps in response.

“All clubs have a responsibility to ensure that everybody who comes into a stadium can enjoy the game – that is a key part of our Enjoy the Game campaign, which promotes a welcoming and enjoyable experience for everyone at Rugby League, wherever it is played and whatever their role.

“This incident was highly unusual, in a game which has always taken pride in the behaviour of the vast majority of Rugby League supporters, and the family traditions it has encouraged; however, we are aware that it was not the only disappointing off-field incident in the 2019 season, and it is important we are not complacent in that regard. We will be working with clubs to reinforce the importance of the Enjoy the Game campaign during the off-season.”

The decision takes account of the previous record of both clubs in relation to issues of misconduct and of their respective approaches in response to these incidents.

Karl Fitzpatrick, Warrington Wolves’ chief executive, added: “The club fully accepts the RFL’s decision in this matter and has complied with the governing body throughout the investigation. We have, and will, continue to take the necessary steps to ensure an incident of a similar nature does not occur again. Rugby League is renowned for being an inclusive, family sport and we will not allow a very small minority to tarnish the fantastic Warrington Wolves’ supporter base that upholds these values. I’d also like to thank all the Warrington supporters who provided valuable information enabling us to complete a thorough investigation.”

The club can also confirm that two banning orders and a number of additional sanctions have been put in place as a result of the above incident.

The Dragons ran out 30-10 in a fiery encounter, which boiled over in to the stands at the conclusion of the game, captured live on Sky Sports.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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