Fans pleased with PNE refund

Preston North End supporters have welcomed the club's decision to refund fans out of the fines handed out to Eoin Doyle and Jermaine Beckford.
PNE fans hang out a flag before PNE's game at Sheffield Wednesday last SaturdayPNE fans hang out a flag before PNE's game at Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday
PNE fans hang out a flag before PNE's game at Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday

The 801 PNE followers who were in the away end for the 2-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough have been offered a refund on the ticket price as recompense for being let down by Doyle and Beckford who were sent-off for fighting with each other.

Doyle and Beckford clashed in the 90th minute of the Championship game as the Lilywhites chased an equaliser.

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It was sparked by Doyle choosing to pick out a pass to Marnick Vermijl instead of Beckford as North End pressed on the break.

Their fight led to red cards and cost their side a chance of an equaliser against the 10-man Owls.

The refund offer was met positively by those who made the trip, an expensive one too with admission for an adult costing £33.

North End supporter and LEP fans’ panelist John Roper said: “I think it is an interesting initiative by the club and a welcome one.

“I will be giving my refund to Simon Grayson’s charity.

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“It is a good idea in terms of reconciling the two players involved and the supporters.

“At 5pm on Saturday when we were leaving the ground, fans were very angry and it felt like Beckford and Doyle had a very long road back.

“The refund is a meaningful way of helping do that.

“I genuinely felt we were going to get a point with the way the game was going had the players stayed on.

“Sheffield Wednesday were down to 10 men and we were pushing forward with at least six minutes of added-on time still to go.

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“Had we been losing 4-0 and the lads had done what they did, you would have called them daft and pretty much forgot about it.

“But it was 2-1 at the time and we had the momentum.”

The FA’s website has Doyle and Beckford listed as serving three-match bans – the usual suspension for red cards for violent conduct.

In the aftermath of the red cards, PNE boss Simon Grayson pulled no punches in his assessment of the pair’s actions.

He described the scenes as ‘embarrassing’ and ‘disgusting’, and warned that sanctions would follow.

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In a statement released by North End yesterday, Grayson again made clear his displeasure.

“The fans who travelled to Sheffield Wednesday were let down by the actions of Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle and it is only right that the fines imposed on the players are used to refund the cost of the ticket money for the fixture,” said Grayson.

“It has been made very clear to the players and the squad as a whole that this behaviour is not acceptable by any employee of Preston North End and a swift and strong response was important, however, it has now been dealt with and the matter is closed.”

Doyle and Beckford apologised via the same statement, with Beckford having earlier said sorry on social media platform Instagram.

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In the statement, they said: “We apologise wholeheartedly for our actions at Hillsborough.

“Our behaviour was not acceptable in any walk of life, let alone on a football pitch.

“We let down the management, our team-mates and most importantly the supporters, who had spent a lot of money to support the team.

“We accept the punishment given to us by the club and the FA and fully support the club’s decision to refund the ticket costs to the supporters.

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“We have apologised to the manager, the staff and our team-mates and hope that the supporters accept our total remorse for the incident.

“It is our intention to now put this behind us and to give our all for the benefit of Preston North End going forward.”