City may hand pitch invader lifetime ban
Published 10/12/2012 | 15:59
The Manchester City fan who ran on to the pitch to try to confront Rio Ferdinand faces a lifetime ban from the club despite his apology.
City have confirmed that Matthew Stott, 21, has had his season ticket removed for the rest of the season and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty in court of a charge of pitch encroachment.
"His season card has been immediately removed for the rest of the season and he has been charged to appear at court. If he is found guilty he faces a lifetime ban," said a City spokesman.
Stott, described by his solicitor as "not a stereotypical drunken football fan", said in a statement he would be writing to United defender Ferdinand to apologise.
Ferdinand had blood pouring from a cut above his eye after being hit by a coin following Robin van Persie's late derby winner at the Etihad Stadium, and the United defender then had to deal with Stott coming on to the pitch towards him.
Stott had to be restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart and was arrested and subsequently charged by police.
In a statement released by his solicitors, Stott, a landscape gardener from Knutsford, said: "I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.
"I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club. I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans.
"I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch. I have been a fan of Manchester City all my life and I have been a season ticket holder for three years and I attend the games with my father. I have had the same seat in the section next to the away fans for those three years."
Stott is now facing a possible banning order but his solicitor said he had never been in trouble before and was not the "stereotypical drunken football fan".