A RFL Appeals Tribunal has halved the fine handed down to Castleford Tigers after they were found guilty of misconduct during an Engage Super League fixture against Crusaders RL at The Jungle on March 26.
The £40,000 fine was imposed by an RFL Operational Rules Tribunal in June following homophobic chants levelled at a Crusaders RL player by Castleford supporters.
The tribunal in June also ordered Castleford to forfeit the £20,000 suspended from a £40,000 fine imposed in September 2009 for conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game and misconduct after plastic bottles were thrown on to the pitch and match officials were abused and harassed at the conclusion of a home match against Catalans Dragons in June that year.
However at an appeals hearing this week, the £40,000 fine for misconduct relating to the homophobic chanting was reduced to £20,000. The tribunal also ruled that the £20,000 suspended last year should remain suspended until the end of the 2012 season.
Tigers CEO Richard Wright said: “Castleford Tigers in no way condone abusive chanting or behaviour and we accept the outcome of the Appeals Tribunal.”
“The RFL have sent a clear message to us, and all of the clubs, that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Further to this, our fans have urged us to take a strong stance on inappropriate behaviour and chanting via focus groups and communication.
“We will be taking a no tolerance approach and will issue anyone who is found indulging in such behaviour with lengthy bans.
“We also aim to expand our well established match day procedures and continue to pro-actively promote the sport’s family values in a successful manner.”
The 2010 fine was reduced and the 2009 fine further suspended after Castleford were able to demonstrate that since the hearing in June they had taken steps which led to the identification and banning of some of the supporters responsible for the homophobic chanting.
The 2009 fine was further suspended in recognition of the improvements made to the match day safety operation by the club in the 2010 season.