Premier League to decide on Charlton ban threat

The Premier League will have the final say on whether Manchester United fans are banned by Charlton from The Valley.

The Premier League will have the final say on whether Manchester United fans are banned by Charlton from The Valley.

The Londoners announced their wish to withhold the away allocation from United in the future after a visiting fan was charged with sexual assault against a female member of staff and a steward was injured during Saturday’s match between the two teams.

However, Charlton cannot act unilaterally and will need to agree any ban with the Premier League board.

A Premier League spokesman said: “Charlton Athletic will no doubt discuss their away allocation for Manchester United, along with stewarding and police arrangements, with their safety advisory group for any future matches

“Any ban on away fans would have to be considered by the Premier League board.”

The female member of staff had been helping disabled fans in the away end and was in the area to the rear of the stand when the assault is said to have occurred.

Charlton chief executive Peter Varney said: “I have never heard of anything like this at a football match before, and we would like to thank those Manchester United fans who witnessed it, and came forward to make statements to the police.”

Three of the six arrested were fans who encroached on to the pitch after United’s second goal in their 3-1 win, when scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy led a group of United players towards the visiting fans to celebrate.

A large number of United supporters surged forward, causing a metal gate to break and crushing a steward.

“I think, when we see the reports from the police and the local authority, it will leave us with little alternative but to refuse to sell tickets to Manchester United fans for future games at The Valley,” Varney added.

“I’d rather have the away end empty than run the risk of further incidents like those we saw on Saturday.”

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