Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Football club could sue streakers

Newcastle United could sue two streakers who ran on to the pitch during Europa League matches at the club's ground

A Premier League football club could sue two streakers who landed the side with heavy fines from Uefa for their misbehaviour on the pitch.

Newcastle United could be charged as much as 17,000 euro (£13,000) for two separate incidents during Europa League games at St James' Park.

The first, against Greek side Atromitos, saw Steven Arkle, 21, from Kenton Road, Newcastle, run naked on to the pitch and hold up play for several minutes as he evaded stewards.

Weeks later, against Bordeaux of France, John Parkinson, 35, from East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, ran on to the turf in front of thousands in the ground, and a global TV audience, wearing just an England shirt.

Both men - neither of whom have a season ticket or are an official club member - pleaded guilty to public order offences at Newcastle Magistrates' Court.

Neither would accept football banning orders so they will be sentenced in mid-December.

The club has already been fined 7,000 euro (£5,600) for the first incident and is looking at a bigger penalty for the second streak.

The cases were an embarrassment to Newcastle, playing in European competition for the first time since 2004.

Steve Storey, Newcastle United head of security, said: "I'm pleased they pleaded guilty and we at the club hope that they receive strong sentences.

"It is not just to punish them but also to act as a deterrent to others. People who think that selfishly running on the pitch is fun or funny should realise it is not. It's a criminal offence which disrupts the game."

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