Crawley Town cancel ban on fan accused of abusing Ian Holloway

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Crawley Town have cancelled a four-match ban on a fan who was accused of abusing Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway during Reds’ 3-0 victory on Saturday.

Fan Paul Prendergast who was chairman of fans group Crawley Town Supporters Alliance had been excluded from the club following a complaint about his behaviour from the Palace boss.

Crawley Town’s statement: “The club were extremely disappointed with events during and after Saturday’s game which led to us imposing a ban on Paul Prendergast.

“The decision was not taken lightly and taken after a thorough investigation during which Paul was consulted at all times. Crawley Town FC will not tolerate any behaviour that harms our relationship with other football clubs and their representatives or damages our reputation as club that promotes a safe, family friendly environment at the Broadfield Stadium.

“However, after further discussions with the Supporters Alliance and careful consideration of an appeal made by Paul, the club has decided to rescind the ban and Paul has agreed to move to a seat in another area of the stadium.

“We hope to now put this incident behind us and concentrate on the most important thing and that is Saturday’s home game against Coventry City.”

Paul Prendergast said: “I have always wound up the opposition manager from my seat behind the dugout, but on this occasion perhaps I went too far.

“Mr Holloway has gone on record as stating it had been the most stressful week of his managerial career and I may have helped to tip him over the edge. That was never my intention, I am extremely embarrassed about it and I am mortified that I caused embarrassment to my football club.

“Crawley Town is a massive part of my life. I am a committed supporter and very passionate about my team and they have enough to deal with preparing for the new season without this.

“I have spoken to co-owner Susan Carter and apologised personally and I just want to forget the incident.”

Ian Townsend, who on Monday night replaced Prendergast as CTSA chairman said: “Paul didn’t do anything which was foul or abusive, just loud - however I don’t think he should have wound Ian Holloway up - he was incadescent after the game.

“Paul’s not malicious. He does it each week but this time he took his wind-up too far. It was the straw which broke the camel’s back.”