November 24 – Premier League Luton Town has been fined £120,000 by the FA as punishment for homophobic chanting during the club’s first Premier League match following promotion in the 4-1 loss to Brighton at the start of the season.
Alongside the hefty £120,000 fine, the FA also issued the Hatters a two-year plan to improve behaviour from the stands.
Luton, promoted to the top flight for the first time in 31 years in May, said any fans identified over the chants will be banned by the club and potentially face a police investigation.
Brighton is widely regarded as the gay capital of the UK: a title which has led the club to be victim to homophobic chants from visiting teams.
The Premier League has a strong history of standing with the LGBTQ+ community, headlined by the Rainbow Laces campaign that seeks to kick homophobia out of the sport once and for all. Other nods to the LGBTQ+ support throughout recent years include rainbow captains armbands and rainbow corner flags.
“Those involved were committing a criminal offence and anyone subsequently identified will be issued with a club ban and face potential police investigation,” Luton said in a statement.
“Luton Town has worked with supporters in recent seasons to help form the Rainbow Hatters supporters’ group for members of the LGBTQ+ community, who meet regularly to share their experiences of watching the Hatters.
“We will work further with supporter groups to educate and inform on all forms of discriminatory acts to ensure that watching Luton Town is a safe and welcoming experience for everyone.”
The club sit in an unexpected 17th place after being lifted out of the relegation zone by the 10-point penalty given to Everton earlier this week for breaching the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules.
Luton Town return to Premier League action this after the international break, hosting mid-table Crystal Palace.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com