Club fear points deduction over 'abuse' of ex-Portsmouth, Derby and Spurs man targeted by missiles thrown by home faithful

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A former Pompey player has received a club apology after having missiles and pyrotechnics thrown at him during a match.

Luke McGee joined Tranmere in the summer and was in the strugglers’ side at Crawley last weekend.

The visitors’ lost 3-2 to remain in the League Two relegation zone, yet the chief talking point was controversy following Crawley’s first goal.

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Ronan Darcy’s 61st-minute leveller for the Reds was greeted by a ‘large group’ of home supporters launching missiles in the direction of goalkeeper McGee.

The seriousness of the situation prompted Crawley to launch an internal investigation, while they have issued a strongly-worded statement criticising the supporters involved.

They have also publicly apologised for the ‘abuse’ at McGee, who made 55 appearances in three Fratton Park seasons before leaving in July 2020.

Crawley now fear the incident could lead to ‘potential sanctions including stand and stadium closures as well as points deductions’.

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Former Pompey keeper Luke McGee has received an apology after missiles were thrown at him during Tranmere's trip to Crawley. Picture: Joe PeplerFormer Pompey keeper Luke McGee has received an apology after missiles were thrown at him during Tranmere's trip to Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey keeper Luke McGee has received an apology after missiles were thrown at him during Tranmere's trip to Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Upon Crawley equalising in the 61st minute, a large group of ‘supporters' proceeded to launch a number of missiles in the direction of the Tranmere Rovers goalkeeper. Behaviour like this is unfathomable and will not be tolerated.

‘The club have already launched an internal investigation and anyone found to be throwing missiles of any kind onto the field of play will be indefinitely banned from the Broadfield Stadium and may face wider football bans.

‘Owing to the behaviour of these supporters, there was a very real possibility of the game being abandoned at 1-1, a scenario that was only avoided owing to the response from the club security team.

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‘First team players and staff have also lodged their displeasure at these scenes owing to the stoppage in play that ensued as a result of the fans behaviour which lost the team momentum when the impetus was with them.

‘The club will now likely receive a sanction from the FA which will provide significant financial stress for the club – something that could be better spent to ensure the continued progress of the team.

‘Other potential sanctions include stand and stadium closures as well as points deductions. Unfortunately owing to the continual bad behaviour of a select group of fans, these are now very real sanctions that the club could face in the coming weeks.

‘The support this season home and away has largely been superb, however it is exceedingly disappointing, and now concerning that these select groups, who do not represent the wider fan base, continue to let the club down in this way.

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‘Crawley Town Football Club wishes to formally apologise to Luke McGee and Tranmere Rovers for the abuse suffered this afternoon and will be making no further comment at this stage.’

McGee was recruited by Kenny Jackett from Spurs in a £100,000 deal in July 2017.

After making 50 appearances in his maiden Fratton Park season, the keeper lost his place to new recruit Craig MacGillivray.

MacGillivray’s impressive form, plus the emergence of Alex Bass, relegated McGee to third choice and a loan spell at Bradford soon followed.

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When his contract expired in the summer of 2020, he joined Forest Green and won the League Two title in 2021-22.

In January he joined Derby on loan, albeit as a back-up, without making any appearances, before handed a free transfer by Forest Green in the summer after 110 outings.

He has featured nine times for Tranmere so far this term, yet they are 23rd in League Two following three points from their opening eight fixtures.