As shared in May, Gillingham Football Club was charged by the Football Association with failure to ensure that its spectators conducted themselves in an orderly manner.
The club was found guilty of failing to control the use of discriminatory language that was racist as well as sexist. The incidents took place at home against Colchester United FC on 26 December 2022, away against Sutton United FC on 29 December 2022, and at home against AFC Wimbledon on 25 February 2023, all EFL League Two 2022/23 fixtures.
Pursuant to breaches of Football Association Rule E21.4, the club has received a monetary fine of £12,500. Additionally, the club was presented with an Action Plan to help support its efforts to prevent any recurrence of misconduct. The Football Association’s full findings and decision was published today.
We take these findings from the FA seriously. Chanting of this nature is unacceptable. Furthermore, there is no place for any manner of discriminatory, offensive, or abusive behaviour or language of any kind inside our ground.
It is the intention of Gillingham FC to further develop our existing anti-discriminatory initiatives to be more proactive in our approach to abuse. We will continue to reinforce our zero-tolerance policy via all messaging avenues available to us, including our website, social media platforms, Club Charter, Club Fan Guide, announcements, LED boards, and posters. We also commit to timely and thorough investigation of such matters, as well as the introduction of a Club Sanctions Policy.
Chairman Brad Galinson said: “Since we purchased the club, we have spent a significant amount of money and resources on improving all areas of the club—from investing in the First Team playing squad to building a new shop, installing pitchside LED screens, and upgrading facilities to improve the matchday experience.
"We are happy to do so, but what is frustrating is this wasted spend. It’s money leaving the club without any return that benefits it.”
We invite our family of supporters to join us in preventing discrimination and abuse at Priestfield. If we are charged in the future and found guilty, the FA and the Commission have made it clear that the penalties for our club will be severe and will include even larger fines and/or points deductions.