Football Australia has delivered its final determination to the show cause notice handed to A-Leagues club Melbourne Victory after the December 17 derby pitch invasion that has been described as “the darkest day in Australian football”.

Chief executive James Johnson announced on Tuesday that Victory would face “significant sporting and financial sanctions” as a result of the incident. 

The financial sanctions total $550,000, comprising $450,000 in fines and damages and $100,000 in lost revenue due to the sporting sanctions imposed.

The sporting sanctions require the club to block access to select seating behind the goals and otherwise restrict seating in the North End of AAMI Park to registered club members for the remainder of the 2022-23 A-League Men’s season and 2022-23 A-League Men Finals Series.

It also includes a direction that no specifically allocated club supporter seating at the club’s away games will be provided for the remainder of the season.

Football Australia also announced a suspended 10  competition point deduction that will be enacted if there is any further incidents at Victory matches for the next three seasons. 

The affected match will be replayed in April.

Individual and club sanctions were handed down in the three weeks following the abandoned match, which saw Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover and referee Alex King attacked with a metal bucket and roughly $150,000 worth of damage caused to the ground.

To date, 17 people have been issued with footballing bans — some for several years, others for life — while a number of spectators are also the subject of criminal charges by Victoria Police.

Preliminary sanctions had also been placed upon Victory in the aftermath, including the suspension of ticket sales for home matches, the closing down of the club’s active support end, and restrictions on those who can attend both home and away games until a particular date.

Tensions between active fans and the administrators of the A-Leagues were already high after the Australian Professional Leagues’ (APL) decision to sell their grand final hosting rights to Sydney, with the boilover pitch invasion detracting from what were largely peaceful protests from other active fan groups across the leagues.

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29m ago29 minutes agoTue 10 Jan 2023 at 3:26am

Football Australia: When individuals cross the line, ‘we’ve got to focus on solving that’

Football Australia chief executive James Johnson says the field is a “workplace for our players and our referees”.

“It is a very sacred place in sport, and when individuals cross that line, we’ve got to focus on solving that issue,” he says.

“And that’s what these sanctions have been focused on.”

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