February 21, 2024

LEEDS United has been fined £50,000 after a supporter assaulted Newcastle manager Eddie Howe in the technical area during a Premier League game last season.

The spectator, David Derbyshire, was sentenced to three months in jail in September and slapped with a six-year football banning order after he physically and verbally abused Howe during the match between the Whites and the Magpies at Elland Road on May 13.

Elland Road

The club, now in the Sky Bet Championship, had a further £50,000 fine suspended until the end of next season by an independent regulatory commission.

Leeds had admitted a Football Association charge in relation to the incident.

As reported by the Telegraph & Argus earlier this year, 35-year-old Derbyshire, of Marley Street, Beeston, approached the away team’s dugout in the 93rd minute of the game and had a verbal altercation with Howe before pushing his left shoulder.

The commission’s written reasons in reaching its decision stated: “All participants are entitled to go about their business on gameday on the assumption that they are safe and protected.

“In this instance, an individual spectator behaved in a significantly improper manner, gaining access not only to the pitch but also to the technical area, including a physical and verbal altercation with the opposing manager.

“On any view, that is a most serious occurrence.”

Derbyshire was quickly apprehended by club security staff and arrested by West Yorkshire Police officers.

The incident was broadcast live on national television.

The commission was satisfied that Leeds had “low culpability”.

“(The club’s) planning was detailed and excellent and it is unfortunate for Leeds that one small area of weakness was exploited by a lone individual intent, for unknown, inexplicable and inexcusable reasons, (on) getting into the technical area,” the written reasons read.

“That a spectator can get into the technical area and physically and verbally remonstrate with a manager is self-evidently harmful to the image of the game and has a real threat of invoking copycat incidents.

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