Wigan fans praised for good conduct

Wigan Athletic fans applaud players and their family and Latics staff during their lap of honour with the FA Cup
Wigan Athletic fans applaud players and their family and Latics staff during their lap of honour with the FA Cup

WIGAN Athletic fans were among the Premier League’s most well behaved last season, new government figures reveal.

In a year that encompassed the highs of FA Cup glory and the lows of relegation to the Championship, a total of 18 Latics fans were arrested at fixtures.

Of that number, all but one were arrested for offences committed at away grounds.

The figure also marked a reduction from the previous year’s total of 23 and 27 in the 2010/11 season.

And only West Bromwich Albion (10), Swansea City (13), Reading (9), Norwich (12) and Fulham (nine) had lower figures.

Chief executive Jonathan Jackson told the Evening Post that Latics fans are a credit to the club and the town.

He said: “These figures are very encouraging and demonstrate that the DW Stadium is a safe environment for football fans.

“Our fans are a credit to the town when they travel, the recent experience in Belgium bears this out completely where more than 2,500 fans travelled without serious incident and provided huge encouragement to the players.

“Where situations do occur, such as flares being let off inside the stadium earlier this season, the perpetrators were swiftly identified and appropriate action taken.

“Our priority as a club is to ensure that we provide as safe an environment for our supporters and our efforts will always be aimed at maximizing this. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic supporters for their continued good behaviour over the years and to encourage this to continue.”

Public Order offences were the most prevalent misdemeanours, with nine fans being arrested for the offence.

Other offences included four alcohol related incidents, two pitch incursions and one incident of missile throwing, ticket touting and a breach of a banning order.

The figures, released by the Home Office, revealed that one banning order was issued to a Latics fan between November 2012 and September 2013, while 11 supporters remain subject to such orders.

The total number of arrests for Premier League clubs was 1,007 with fans of Newcastle United (175), Manchester United (145), Manchester City (95) and Chelsea (92) the most regular culprits.

Latics fans witnessed at first hand one of the season’s most serious outbreaks of violence as Millwall supporters rioted at the FA Cup semi-final. Their fans were arrested on 67 occasions last season.