Football fans involved in the disorder outside the Ricoh Arena in September 2018 have so far received bans equating to a combined 29 years
Eleven football fans who were involved in disorder following Sunderland's match at Coventry have been banned from stadiums across the country.
West Midlands Police, in partnership with Northumbria Police, launched an investigation into violence in the aftermath of the Black Cats’ League One clash against Coventry on September 29 last year.
Trouble flared as fans left the Ricoh Arena following the lunchtime kick-off, which ended 1-1.
In December 2018, West Midlands Police released images of more than 20 men they wanted to speak to in connection with the disturbance.
So far, a total of 11 people are found to have been actively involved in the disorder and have subsequently been served with Football Banning Orders equating to a combined 29 years.
Eight of the offenders served with the orders have been identified as Coventry City supporters, while three Sunderland fans have also had action taken against them.
The three Black Cats supporters appeared at Coventry Magistrates’ Court earlier this month (May 7 and May 8) charged with public order offences.
Jordan Cherry, 23, of Fieldside, Pelton, was found guilty following a trial and handed a five-year banning order, as well as 200 hours of community service and a £630 fine plus costs.
Paul Feechan, 44, and Jamie Phenny, 27, both pleaded guilty and were handed banning orders until 2022.
Feechan, of Redesdale Road, Sunderland, was ordered to pay £305 plus costs while Phenny, of Mayfield Road, South Hylton, was fined £455 plus costs.
The trio are now banned from attending all regulated football matches in the UK, which includes Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and Conference fixtures.
The banning order also prevents them from travelling abroad to watch international friendlies, qualification matches and tournaments.
Football intelligence officer PC Andrea Sadler, of Northumbria Police, said: “While the overwhelming majority of fans who attended this match – and all Sunderland fixtures this season – behaved impeccably, the actions of a minority were totally unacceptable.
“We have worked in partnership with our colleagues at West Midlands Police to locate those responsible and take appropriate action against anybody who caused trouble.
“All 11 of the individuals are now forbidden from entering stadiums across the country for the next few years as a result of their actions.
“Supporters should also be aware that banning orders can affect your future career prospects as they may be disclosed to potential employers through a vetting process or DBS check.
“I’m proud to say that in recent years, fans across Northumbria have worked very closely with police and partners, and the positive relationship we enjoy with fans has been evident again throughout the 2018/19 season.
“We look forward to building on that strong understanding in the years to come.”
Steve Neill, head of safety at Sunderland AFC, welcomed the sentences.
“Sunderland has one of the largest away followings in the country,” he said.
“Throughout the season our fans have supported the team with a huge amount of passion, they have represented the club with the highest standards of behaviour and won plaudits from many grounds they have travelled too.
“It is therefore disappointing when a minority engage in the type of violence seen at the Ricoh Arena last September. We welcome the sentences imposed by the court and hope they act as a deterrent to prevent any future repetition of such behaviour”.