The chairman of the Halifax Rugby League club has come under fire after a video emerged showing him brand fans ‘idiots’ during the team’s match on Sunday.
The video, posted to social media after Halifax Panthers lost to Featherstone Rovers, appears to show Chairman Laurence Turner confronting fans in the stands over Covid regulations.
In the clip, Mr Turner appears to argue with a fan, at one point saying “I can’t deal with idiots”.
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Panthers fan Malachy Enright, 17, who was at the match, said that he was shouted at by the chairman.
He said: “It started by Laurence marching up to the main stand at the Halifax rugby match at the Shay, all guns blazing, calling us idiots, saying we’re gonna make the club close down due to Covid regulations, whilst not wearing a mask.
“He did not ask us once in a polite matter, or any matter in that case, began to get more annoyed and shouting in my (a 17-year-old) face and a fellow fan.”
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A spokesperson for the club said: “The club is pleased to report a successful return of our valued fans to The Shay at the weekend. With passions running high and excitement at understandably elevated levels in the sunshine, the club is aware of a minor disagreement in the stands.
“The central challenge was posed by the threat of future capacity being reduced if our landlords were unhappy with how the fans complied with Covid regulations.
“As part of the club’s safety regulations, social distancing rules and a no alcohol policy were in place.
“The vast majority of fans observed the temporary safety rules impeccably.
“The club is aware that directors approached the small section of fans to ask them to respect the regulations.
“One fan was ejected for concealing a glass bottle containing alcohol and after a few minutes, all were able to focus back on the game.”
Mr Turner is an unpopular figure among some fans, and a campaign has started among supporters’ groups to try and remove Mr Turner from the club.
Nathan Farrar, a fan of the club, said: “A chairman who refers to the fans as idiot customers really shows what we mean to him, just a band of loyal supporters to his club to line his pockets.
“Laurence Turner’s behaviour, no matter how it was antagonised, was 100% out of order, he should have behaved with respect for his ‘customers’, at the end of the day we pay to keep that club going.”
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