Leeds United £150,000 Fine & Plan for Homophobic Chanting
Leeds United Football Club has incurred a financial penalty of £150,000 (equivalent to $191,370) as a result of the actions of their fans during a Premier League home match against Brighton & Hove Albion from the previous season. The disciplinary action was taken by the Football Association (FA), who made the announcement on Thursday.
An independent Regulatory Commission, acting on behalf of the FA, not only levied the fine but also instituted a comprehensive action plan for Leeds United. This plan outlines specific measures that the club is required to undertake in response to the incident.
The sequence of events leading to this decision began on June 13 when the FA formally charged Leeds United. This charge stemmed from an anonymous report submitted to the Kick It Out organization. The allegation revolved around instances of homophobic chanting by Leeds supporters during the game that took place on March 11.
The Regulatory Commission reviewed and analyzed two distinct video clips, each featuring accompanying audio recordings, capturing the offensive chanting by a segment of home fans. The objectionable chanting was recorded during the 20th minute of the match, which took place at Elland Road, Leeds United's home ground.
In acknowledgment of their violation, Leeds United admitted to breaching FA rule E21.4. This rule mandates that a football club is responsible for ensuring that its fanbase conducts themselves in a respectful and non-discriminatory manner, refraining from the use of any discriminatory language.
The action plan, which was part of the disciplinary measures imposed by the Regulatory Commission, encompasses a range of practical measures and operational guidelines that Leeds United must implement. The duration for which this plan remains in effect, as well as the potential external support the club may require, are also specified.
In response to the imposed fine and the associated action plan, Leeds United released a formal statement expressing their acceptance of the penalty. The club further noted their ongoing commitment to combating homophobia within the community, emphasizing that despite their diligent efforts, further progress is needed.
It is notable that Leeds United experienced relegation to the Championship league at the conclusion of the preceding season.