Wakefield fined by tribunal after offensive chanting

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have been fined £20,000 after an independent tribunal found them guilty of breaches of RFL Operational Rules following crowd misconduct during their clash against Bradford Bulls last August.

The matter relates to Wakefield’s home fixture in the Super 8s Qualifiers against the Bulls in which a group of Wakefield supporters were found by the tribunal to have engaged in chanting of a racist and offensive nature.

The tribunal found that Wakefield were guilty of breaching the following Operational Rules:

  • B1.4, which sets out the club’s responsibility for the management of its ground safety;
  • B1.5, which sets out the club’s responsibility for the behaviour of the spectators;
  • B1.6, which sets out the club’s responsibilities to use its best endeavours to ensure that all spectators at its ground do not engage in any unacceptable behaviour or language and to apply zero tolerance to those who do;
  • D1.1 (b), conduct which is prejudicial to the interests of the game or is improper conduct.

This was on the basis that the Club’s immediate response to the incidents did not reach the standards required by the Operational Rules and that the Club was responsible for the actions of the stewards at its matches (whether employed by it or otherwise).

Half of the fine has been suspended until the end of the 2016 season and will become payable should Wakefield be charged with a similar offence within that time.

The tribunal also ordered the club to pay a £1,000 fine which was suspended following a previous incident of misconduct involving spectators.

The tribunal gave credit to Wakefield for the steps taken after the match to address the issue but felt the sanction should reflect the serious nature of the incidents.