Attending a football match should be a day to remember regardless of what happens on the pitch.

However, it could easily become a day you would wish to forget if it ends with your arrest or the arrest of a family member/friend. For football fans, it is all to easy to find yourself caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time and due to previous incidents at stadiums, football fans are now subject to a variety of specific laws and the police now take a robust approach to offences that occur at football matches.

John Marchant, assisted by Alex Murray, heads up our football law department.

John was a senor county referee (Level 5) for many years and worked for the Football Association as Chief Executive Officer for Hertfordshire Football Association for five years. He was also the discipline chairman of the Watford Friend League, the largest local youth league. Alex is a lifelong football fan who is a regular match attender.

At Wheldon Law, we recognise that fans may not see the need for a solicitor when they are interviewed by the Police, but we believe that the early intervention of a solicitor can ensure that fans get the best possible results.

Specific Offences

As well as the full range of criminal offence such as assault, affray and criminal damage, the Football Offences Act 1991 created specific offences relating to football matches. As a result, football fans who act in the following way can face criminal charges:

  • Throwing of missiles onto the pitch
  • Racist or indecent chanting
  • Going onto the playing area.

We appreciate that these offences are unique to sporting matches and as a result, you should seek the advice of solicitors who have experience dealing with these offences. At Wheldon Law, we ensure that our solicitors are able to provide you with the specialist advice you require and to ensure that your case is fully prepared, whether in the Magistrates’ or the Crown Court.

Football Banning Orders

Football Banning Orders are a specific Court Order than can be imposed upon a football fan after they are convicted of an offence. These orders can last up to 10 years and the conditions can prohibit fans from:

  • Attending matches
  • Attending certain places before and/or after match day.
  • Requiring you to surrender your passport to the Police before international matches.

At Wheldon Law, we are experienced in aiding and representing clients facing banning orders and we can advise you of the criteria that the Prosecution must satisfy for them to be imposed. If the court does consider a banning order to be appropriate, we would ensure that the conditions of any order are appropriate to your personal circumstances, so the order is only as intrusive as necessary.

We also ensure that clients receive representation if they are accused of breaching orders upon them or if their circumstances change and they require the conditions to be varied.

We are here to protect your legal rights and ensure you receive the best possible advice and representation every step of the way.

Please call us on 01442 242999 or email us at for free initial telephone advice.