RBB members at the Sydney Derby.
RBB members at the Sydney Derby.

Wanderers guilty but escape punishment

THE Wanderers have been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute following last weekend's Sydney derby, but the club has escaped an immediate points deduction and fine.

Instead, Football Federation Australia has imposed a suspended points deduction of three competition points until the end of next season, including the finals series.

A small number of Western Sydney fans in the active support area of Allianz Stadium let off flares last Sunday and should any further incidents occur from now until the end of next season, the points deduction will be triggered.

It's the second time the Wanderers have had a suspended points deduction hanging over their heads following the behaviour of certain fans in the Red and Black Bloc.

But Greg O'Rourke, head of the A-League, commended the Wanderers for their swift response by making the decision to close their active support area for Sunday's match against Perth Glory.


He said the behaviour of some of the club's fans last weekend brought the game into disrepute and will not be tolerated.

"We encourage active support and the atmosphere it brings to our game," said O'Rourke.

"When done well and within acceptable community standards it is truly a spectacle like none other and a reason for many general sports fans to attend and witness first-hand the vibrant and inclusive experience.

"However there is a line and last Sunday night we saw that line crossed with the illegal use of flares and also anti-social behaviour from a very small minority.

"The images captured and shared many times over move from enhancing the club and football's brand to damaging it. This behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

"We commend and support the action taken by the Club and will continue to work with them to create a safe and enjoyable environment for all our fans and the image of the game."

The Wanderers have seven days to appeal the decision should they wish to do so.

Meanwhile, FFA has fined Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick $3000 for comments he made following his team's match against the Wanderers.

Merrick called the refereeing a "disgrace" after the VAR intervened three times during the game.