Melbourne Victory has received A-League record sanctions including a fine and a suspended points deduction as Football Australia (FA) finally handed down the punishment for the pitch invasion during last year’s Melbourne derby.
The A-League club was found to have brought the game into disrepute for the incident which happened in the December 17 match against Melbourne City at AAMI Park, with City goalkeeper Tom Glover being struck by a bucket as hundreds of Victory supporters, many throwing missiles, invaded the pitch.
While the club has avoided an actual points deduction as punishment, a suspended sentence will be hanging over their head for the next four seasons, while Victory fans will also see restrictions put in place.
Melbourne Victory sanctions handed down by Football Australia
- $550,000 fine comprising $450,000 in fines and damages and $100,000 in lost revenue due to the sporting sanctions imposed.
- Select seating will be restricted in Victory’s North End at AAMI Park for the rest of season and finals.
- Only Victory members will be able to sit in the North End for the rest of season and finals.
- There will be no allocated seating for Victory supporters at away games for the rest of the season and finals.
- A suspended 10-point deduction that will be triggered each time there is serious supporter misconduct for the rest of the season and finals, and the following three seasons.
The match, which was suspended after 22 minutes, will be replayed in April 2023, commencing at the 22nd minute with the score Melbourne City 1-0 Melbourne Victory – which was the score when the match stopped.
For active fans to be back at Victory matches next season, the club will have to satisfy several FA and APL requirements, which could include all in that area to be club members.
City goalkeeper Glover required medical attention after being struck by a bin, with footage suggesting some fans weren’t happy after he threw a flare back in their direction prior to the pitch invasion.
Glover and referee Alex King were at the centre of the incident with both quickly escorted from the field. A Network 10 cameraman was also injured as a result of the incident.
Both teams eventually left the field of play with the game abandoned 20 minutes later due to player safety concerns.
FA applied a set of sanctions on Victory until January 15, which included banning all the club’s supporters from attending away matches, while ‘valid home members’ could attend any home matches.
Only two days before the Friday kickoff in the home match against Roar on January 6, Victory confirmed in an email statement that any North End members would be banned from attending the match, while General Admin and South End members could attend, with the South End area of AAMI Park being roped off.
Victory have offered to compensate all North End fans banned with free double passes to a future game, with the huge majority of the area not involved in derby pitch invasion.
The latest Victoria Police report stated 37 individuals of the 42 identified as invading the AAMI Park pitch had been processed by authorities, with 32 charged with a range of offences including assault, violent disorder, criminal damage, riotous behaviour, and discharging missiles.
Five people were issued a fine or caution.
Football Australia has also issued attendance bans ranging from five years to lifetime for supporters identified by the police as being involved in the riot.