Pompey escape FA fine over Griffin Park pitch invasion

Some Pompey fans make their way on to the pitch at Griffin Park
Some Pompey fans make their way on to the pitch at Griffin Park
Pompey forward Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

Naismith: Pompey have no need to panic

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Pompey have avoided an FA fine following a Brentford pitch invasion by a section of their fans.

However, the Blues have been warned over their future conduct.

Around 200 fans left the away end and entered the playing area at the final whistle of last month’s 3-2 defeat at Griffin Park.

It wasn’t until 15 minutes later that they returned to the stands.

That prompted the Football Association (FA) to request an explanation from Pompey.

Punishment could have been a £10,000 fine in a worst-case scenario for supporters encroaching on to the pitch.

New Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin, though, believed there were extenuating circumstances leading up to the incident – with it being at the end of a week which saw the Pompey Supporters’ Trust settle with Portpin in their ownership battle.

Now the FA have made their judgement and, crucially, Pompey have not been slapped with a costly fine.

Catlin said: ‘We have heard back from the FA and been given a warning about our future conduct, which has been accepted.

‘No mistake, we have been reprimanded and, in response, have assured the FA we will do everything in our power to make sure it will never happen again.

‘I believe we put in a robust case which detailed the significant circumstances on that day and how they should be taken into consideration when looking at any punishment.

‘The FA accepted our explanation and warned us of our future conduct so now we move on and look ahead.’

Brentford themselves had insisted they were not to blame for the pitch invasion. Although, as the hosts, it was their responsibility to police fans accordingly.

In a strongly-worded statement on their club website afterwards, they pointed the finger of blame at Pompey.

Nonetheless, it had been an emotional week for Blues followers after the giant steps taken in the High Court for supporters to own their club.

In addition, Pompey were adamant the pitch invasion was a non-aggressive act and not designed to provoke the home fans.

As part of Pompey’s defence, they also pointed out tickets for the Griffin Park match had been sold only to Fratton season-ticket holders and never went on general sale.