Leigh Leopards have been fined an eye-watering £12,000 by the Rugby Football League for the supporter disorder that followed their Challenge Cup semi-final victory, with Hull KR and Featherstone Rovers also reprimanded.
Spates of Leopards fans took to the field at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington following their 12-10 triumph over St Helens in the last four of the Challenge Cup.
Owner Derek Beaumont could be seen ushering the Leythers back off the pitch post-game, but with the invasions having led to trouble with both the Saints fans and stewards on the day, the club have now felt the full force of the RFL’s ruling.
The good news for Beaumont is that the sanction itself sees a £4000 fine enforced now, with the remaining £8000 suspended until the end of the 2024 season, barring anything similar happening again.
Challenge Cup finalists Leigh Leopards and Hull KR both hit with fines by RFL for supporter disorder
Leigh went on to beat Hull KR in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley the following month, but in the Robins’ semi-final triumph over Wigan Warriors – which took place at Headingley – their supporters also entered the field of play.
The week prior, KR had been at the same venue for a Super League encounter with Leeds Rhinos, remembered for Brad Schneider’s memorable winning drop goal on debut.
Sadly for the club though, with bottles thrown onto the pitch by their supporters during that game, it’ll now be remembered as a contributing factor to their £4000 fine, half of which suspended by the RFL under the same conditions imposed on Leigh.
Championship heavyweights also dealt fine, supporters guilty of racist chanting
Elsewhere, Championship promotion hopefuls Featherstone have also been fined £5000, having to pay half immediately with the other half suspended, with a small number of the Rovers’ supporters found guilty of racist chanting at Bradford Bulls on March 6.
After that clash, the RFL received complaints of that nature, and audio evidence has supported those claims.
In the statement released by the sport’s governing body which confirmed the fines handed out, the RFL stated that the figures dished out had been mitigated by all three clubs co-operating with their investigations, recognising the behaviour was unacceptable, and pledging to reinforce that message to their supporters.