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Crawley Town fan banned for abusing Ian Holloway is allowed back to games
A football fan who “wound up” a Premier League manager will be allowed back to watch games – but only if he sits far away from the dugout.
Crawley Town banished Paul Prendergast from Broadfield Stadium after “mercilessly” taunting Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway throughout a match on Saturday.
After the game, a furious Mt Holloway demanded punishment for Mr Prendergast, who was banned for four games and resigned as chairman of the Crawley Town Supporters’ Alliance.
But yesterday the football club announced a surprise U-turn and said Mr Prendergast’s ban would be reversed – as long as he watches games out of the earshot of opposing managers in future.
Mr Prendergast said he had been “mortified” by the decision to ban him from watching his favourite team.
Stressful He 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 just want to get back to watching football, though perhaps with a slightly more reserved approach in future.”
One fan who was at Saturday’s game told The Argus Mr Prendergast had repeatedly “taken the mickey” out of Mr Holloway’s West Country accent – but said he felt banning him was a step too far.
The fan said: “Paul was having a go at Holloway but he wasn’t saying anything too personal or rude.
“He was just shouting about how terrible Palace were and how Holloway’s accent was funny.”
A spokesman for Crawley Town FC said the club would “not tolerate” bad behaviour at the Broadfield stadium.
He said: “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.”
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