Dragons aim to encourage better fan behaviour

SUPER LEAGUE games at Stade Gilbert Brutus will still have passionate Catalan support in 2023 but steps have been taken to ensure supporters do not “cross the line.”

Crowd misbehaviour in the final game of last season has resulted in a fine and suspended further punishment from the RFL and Catalans Dragons are working hard with fans to encourage “more positive” support in future.

Coach Steve McNamara told League Express, “It’s only right that if we’ve crossed that line and been punished for it, we all need to understand the impact of what could happen in the future. The club has taken it very seriously and we all have a responsibility.

“Of course you want your players and supporters to be passionate and committed but you have to stay within the boundaries. We crossed the line and we’ve acknowledged and accepted it and we’ve appealed to all of our supporters to do the same.

“We need to keep that passion but in a positive manner and the message has already been delivered and will continue to be delivered in the future.”

Catalans will have to do without two metal bleachers stands at Stade Gilbert Brutus after the local authority deemed them “non-compliant” with new health and safety rules.

The metal structures, which provided seating for 1,000 supporters, will be removed and the club plans to use the available space as fan zones for the 2023 season prior to bulldozers moving in to demolish the Guasch Laborde Stand as part of redevelopment work at the stadium.

The Puig Aubert stand (where away fans normally gather) is to be extended down towards the swimming pool end, providing additional facilities and increased capacity for spectators.

Coach McNamara added, “They will be taking away the two metal bleachers stands for health and safety reasons but the club has got big plans for those spaces in the short-term and the longer-term plans for stadium development are already in place.

“I’m sure it won’t affect the atmosphere; it will still be the same old noisy place with fiercely proud fans but just in a positive and more controlled manner.

“We need to understand what is acceptable and what is not, and that goes for everyone, not just spectators.”

This article comes from this week’s issue of League Express. You can take out a subscription by going to https://www.totalrl.com/league-express/