Ahead of this weekend’s game against Tranmere Rovers, we would like to provide some feedback on the first few matches that we have been able to welcome fans back into.
We have received a mix of positive and negative feedback from fans, and likewise we have also had instances of positive and negative behaviour that cannot go unmentioned.
We are aware of comments made regarding staffing levels at recent games. We will always plan to fully staff all areas; however, we been impacted by staff who have not been able to attend matchdays due to self-isolation rules. This is usually at very short notice and has left us short. There is a shortage of staff within the entire hospitality and security sectors at present. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and we ask for understanding and consideration towards our staff.
There have also been comments regarding the cleanliness of seats. All of the seats were washed prior to the start of the season. Anyone who is not satisfied with the cleanliness of their seat should contact the nearest steward as there will be a member of staff available to clean seats during Saturday’s game. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your seat details so this can be rectified before the next game where necessary.
The club is aware of the supply chain issues that have been affecting other organisations and appears from the press to be affecting more and more. Our suppliers have suffered with minor issues so far which has impacted the availability of some products. We have taken measures to hold higher levels of stock of some items to try to mitigate against future problems.
We are planning to open the bottle bar in the Iron Bar this Saturday. The licensing of the Iron Bar requires all drinks to be served in plastics. PET bottles are currently unavailable from our supplier due to supply chain issues, so all drinks will need to be decanted into plastic cups. We have been advised this availability could be a problem for the coming months. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The club would like to remind fans of the ways to report matchday incidents.
Reporting of discrimination or inappropriate behaviours on matchdays can be made in person to a matchday steward, where appropriate action will be taken and, if necessary, the incident will be reported to the Matchday Safety Officer and the Police. You can also report discrimination or inappropriate behaviours within the ground anonymously. Scunthorpe United has a designated Report Hotline where supporters can text details of an incident on the following number: 07921 406126.
You can also use the Kick It Out reporting app which provides users with the ability to attach video, photo and audio evidence to complaints to help support investigations into discriminatory abuse and behaviour.
Reporting via the app is confidential, and sits alongside the organisation’s well-established methods of reporting, including via email and freephone. Supporters can contact Kick It Out on 0800 169 9414 or by emailing email@example.com.
The SUFC incident reporting policy on the club’s website can be found by clicking here.
There have been reports of sexist remarks, homophobic comments and pyrotechnics during the home and away games this season so far. The consequences of these for the club include heightened police presence and therefore cost at future games, as well as penalties and charges from the football authorities. We also cannot forget the impact on the individuals subject to and those that hear discrimination.
The consequences for anyone found having behaved in these ways involve a ban and potential criminal charges.
The club is disappointed by instances of sexist remarks directed at female coaching staff. No-one should be subject to offensive and humiliating remarks in any way and the club has written to those targeted to apologise that this has happened. The club is committed to and promotes inclusion, equality and diversity as values at the core of the club and the community.
The club is also aware of reports of homophobic chanting in the stadium and this was addressed over the public PA system on Tuesday. As with any form of discrimination, there is no place for it in football and we will work towards eradicating this from the stadium.
The club has a zero-tolerance policy on this behaviour, and any individual found to be behaving in this way could receive a lifetime banning order.
We are all #TogetherAgainstDiscrimination.
At home and away games there have been a few instances of pyrotechnics being set off by Scunthorpe United fans. Pyrotechnics include flares, smoke bombs and fireworks.
There is no safe way of using pyrotechnics in spectator areas. They are dangerous, can cause fire and explosions and lead to burns and suffocating smoke. They are a danger to players, officials and staff as well as to other fans. They can also potentially damage the pitch and stadium which could even lead to games being cancelled.
We urge anyone aware of the use of pyrotechnics to report this in one of the ways outlined above.
Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device is a criminal offence and any supporter found to be in breach of the EFL Charter that the club is committed to will face a minimum three-season club ban.
Speaking on behalf of Humberside Police, Chief inspector Paul French said: “We are proud of our continued strong partnership with Scunthorpe United, with local supporters groups and our communities.
“We know how the pandemic has stopped supporters attending football matches, and we are delighted that fans are now heading back into the stadiums. We will be working with the club to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.
“We are aware of a small number of incidents involving smoke pyrotechnics being thrown by fans, in addition to racist, homophobic and sexist chanting. This is totally unacceptable and abhorrent.
“We recognise the impact these types of incidents can have on victims, other fans and also the staff working at the games. We want to be clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated and we will take action against those responsible.
“Over the coming season, football fans will continue to see police officers supporting and working alongside staff from Scunthorpe United, and we look forward to seeing both home and away fans over the months ahead."
Together we can help make the Sands Venue Stadium a positive and welcoming environment for everyone
We would encourage supporters to continue to use the firstname.lastname@example.org email address to provide feedback on their experience, whether good, bad or indifferent so we can continue to improve the matchday experience for everyone.