Please Stay Off The Pitch

As we approach the closing stages of another thrilling Sky Bet League One season, there is excitement about what we still have to play for.

Everyone at Argyle has been hugely grateful for your support in the stands and on our travels this season, with sell-outs in 18 of our 23 league games a huge factor in our incredible success at Home Park so far this year. The noise and atmosphere you create has helped drive us to the brink of Championship football for the first time in 13 years.

As we reach this final stage of the season, we must remind you in the interests of safety for everyone inside our stadium, that the pitch is for managers, players, and match officials, while the stands are there for you to support the team.

At the end of the 21/22 season, we witnessed some unwelcome scenes when fans entered the field of play without permission at several grounds. No matter the reason, any supporter who comes onto the pitch is breaking the law and putting the welfare of players, coaches, match officials, club staff and fellow fans at risk.

At the start of this season, the Premier League, EFL and The FA worked with the Football Supporters' Association to introduce new measures and stronger sanctions to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviours, such as entering the pitch and the use of pyrotechnics.

All identified offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, which may affect their employment and education, and could result in a prison sentence.

The FA will also be enforcing a tougher charging and sanctioning policy for clubs, which will reinforce these measures. Club bans can also extend to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in this activity.

When Saturday comes, if it is our time to celebrate, our plea to you, our wonderful fans, is to keep the pitch free for players and the stands for spectators and avoid any unnecessary disruption.

To be clear, if the players must leave the field because of a pitch incursion, there is a genuine possibility that they will not return. This would be devastating and put a sour note on what should be a day of nothing but elation.

As the season draws to a close, we ask you to think about our post-match celebrations against Sheffield Wednesday, against Ipswich Town, against Exeter City, against Derby County and many more. These were matches and celebrations that will live long in the memory, where the players celebrated on the pitch, with you in the stands.

Manager Steven Schumacher said: “We've had some brilliant celebrations this season after games when fans have been in the stands, and I hope it stays that way on Saturday. If we manage to get the result we want, it is going to be an amazing moment, and if we can celebrate safely, and straight away, that would make it perfect.”

Argyle captain Joe Edwards said: “The lads are all excited about the game on Saturday. We’ve got a big 90 minutes in front of us which we are not taking for granted, but if we are able to win and get promoted, it is going to be all the more special to do it at Home Park, with the Green Army. I hope they are able to heed the advice, and while we celebrate on the pitch, they can have a party in the stands.”