An Abbots Langley community football club has been charged with failing to control its supporters over an incident in which a player’s father attacked the manager for dropping his son.
Dean Kingshott, 39, had only been manager of the Evergreen FC reserve side for two weeks when he was punched, head-butted and hit with a corner flag at the club’s South Way home on September 15.
The former Spurs, Watford and Barnet youth team player who now works for Barnet Council was left with a badly bruised face while his attacker, a 40-year-old man from Abbots Langley, was arrested three days later and issued with a caution for assault and causing actual bodily harm.
Club officials immediately condemned the attack and on Thursday (September 27) the Hertfordshire FA confirmed the club had been charged with failure to ensure supporters conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and was due to attend a disciplinary committee meeting.
Nick Perchard, chief executive of Hertfordshire FA, said: "Due to FA regulations it is mandatory for a charge such as this to be raised against a club following an alleged incident of this kind.
"Officials from Evergreen FC have been asked to appear before a Hertfordshire FA disciplinary committee and we see this as a chance to hear, at first hand, the full details of what happened and how the club responded.
"Once they have the full facts, the committee will then decide what, if any, action will be taken.
"As the governing body for football in this county, Hertfordshire FA only has jurisdiction over clubs, players and officials.
"Alleged criminal acts by spectators - or any other members of the public attending games - are matters for the police. In this case, we understand the police have already been involved."
Club chairman Ron Smith has branded the attack "very, very serious" and vowed to co-operate with the FA investigation.
He commented: "Having been at the club for over 20 years it is one of the worst cases I have had to deal with."
Mr Kingshott, of Watford Fields, meanwhile was left fuming that no further action was taken against the attacker while the club must now answer an FA charge.
He said: It’s ridiculous to only give him a caution, I have got a massive red bruise on my cheek from where he threw a punch at me.
"I went to Watford police station and the police told me they took account of his previous good character and let him off with a caution."
Mr Kingshott also insisted he will continue to manage the side despite the attack.
A Hertfordshire Constabulary spokesman said: "The decision to give a caution is not taken lightly and many factors have to be taken into account in the process, such as the nature of the offence, the offender’s previous convictions and their admission to the offence.
"In this case the use of a caution was considered to be the most appropriate resolution.
"He fully admitted the offence, was sorry for his behaviour and is of previous good character."
The club has until October 4 to reply to the charges.
See http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/9947478.Police_defend_decision_not_to_prosecute_attacker/?ref=mr and http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/9943727.Manager_to_stay_on_at_Evergreen_FC_following_attack/