Birmingham fined £40 000 for pitch invasion

Birmingham have been fined £20 000, with a further £20 000 suspended, following a pitch invasion during their League Cup quarter-final victory over Aston Villa in December.

The club, who went on to win the title, accepted the charge of failing to ensure no spectators or unauthorised persons were permitted to encroach on to the pitch and were handed the punishment by an independent regulatory commission on Tuesday.

Birmingham said in a statement: “The fine could have been much more significant but was determined after the Football Association commented on the professionalism adopted by Birmingham City in its preparation of the fixture, which was well documented, and the level of cooperation the club gave following the investigation and charge.

“Club officials would like to thank the FA and regulatory commission for their patience and assistance with this matter.”

More than 1 000 Birmingham supporters invaded the pitch after their side’s 2-1 win at St Andrew’s and confronted the 3 800 Villa fans at the other end of the stadium.

A flare appeared to be thrown into the section housing the Villa supporters and seats were also ripped out and used as missiles along with other objects.

The suspended fine will hang over the club until the end of the 2013/14 season and would be invoked were Birmingham to again fall foul of FA rule E20b. — Sapa-AFP

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