Bristol Rovers make decision on FA misconduct charges relating to Scunthorpe United win

The pitch invasions were reported by referee Charles Breakspear to the FA

Bristol Rovers are set to face punishment after the club decided not to contest FA charges for misconduct following two incidents at the end of the victory against Scunthorpe United.

On June 24, the club was charged with two breaches of FA rules E20.1 and E20.2 after an investigation into two pitch invasions - one on the 85th minute when Elliot Anderson scored Rovers’ seventh, and the other on the final whistle when promotion to League One was confirmed.

Rovers had until July 4 to respond, but a club official this week told BristolWorld that a decision had been made not to contest the FA charges. The club was now waiting to hear the outcome, they added.

The likely outcome is unclear given a lack of published guidance on punishments for both rules.

Supporters run on the pitch after Elliot Anderson’s 85th minute goal against Scunthorpe United, which secured promotion

However, back in 2015, Reading won an appeal to reduce a fine for breaching FA rule E.20 from £100,000 to £40,000. The charge related to fans running on their pitch after the Royals beat Bradford City to reach the FA Cup semi-final.

And, more recently in 2019, West Ham were fined £100,000 for pitch invasions during a defeat by Burnley.

Back in May this year, the Football Association warned it would be ‘reviewing our regulations’ to clamp down on pitch invasions after an increase in incidents towards the end of the season.

The referee suspended the game after Rovers supporters came on the pitch on the 85th minute, and the match was delayed for 15 minutes until order was restored. Joey Barton and owner Wael al Qadi both appealed to the fans to remain in the stands.

Celebrations started again on the final whistle with supporters coming onto the field once more.

When the charges were announced, the FA said: “It is alleged that in the 85th minute of the fixture, Bristol Rovers FC failed to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from using threatening and/or violent behaviour whilst encroaching onto the pitch area.

“It is further alleged that at the conclusion of the fixture, Bristol Rovers FC failed to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.”