Fan angry over ban threat

AN Ipswich Town fan has today been threatened with a Portman Road ban for being abusive and standing at a match he claims he did not even attend.Vincent Gentle was shocked and angered when he received a letter from the football club informing him he was barred from attending Monday's home game against Preston.

AN Ipswich Town fan has today been threatened with a Portman Road ban for being abusive and standing at a match he claims he did not even attend.

Vincent Gentle was shocked and angered when he received a letter from the football club informing him he was barred from attending Monday's home game against Preston.

It accused him of being threatening towards stewards and refusing to sit down – at a time when he says he was actually enjoying the V Festival in Chelmsford.

The 37-year-old North Stand lower season ticket holder was unable to make it to last Saturday's match against Sheffield Wednesday because of the clash of events.

Since contacting the club, Mr Gentle has been told he will be allowed in to the ground if it is established he is not the person who was captured committing the offences on closed circuit television.

Mr Gentle, of Cole Ness Road, Ipswich said: "I was amazed when I received the letter because I wasn't there.

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"The thing that gets me was the person sitting in my seat was apparently abusive four times.

"I want to know why the stewards didn't challenge and ask him for his name. I'm very annoyed because it should've been handled differently.

"If the person was challenged they wouldn't have needed to have sent the letter out. Now I've got the hassle of sorting it out."

Mr Gentle, a telephone engineer, lent his ticket to a friend for the Sheffield Wednesday match.

But the friend decided to sit elsewhere in the stand, with another group of friends.

Mr Gentle was one of two people given one match bans for the Preston game, with four others, all North Stand season ticket holders, given warnings.

Terry Baxter, spokesman for the football club, said Mr Gentle's situation was being looked into.

He said: "There was an individual sitting in that seat who was identified by CCTV footage and we've written to the holder of that ticket.

"We have been contacted by the ticket holder and he has agreed to come along early to Monday's game.

"If we can establish the person captured on camera is not him, he'll be able to get into the game."

Mr Gentle said he would support the creation of a "standing area" in the North Stand but understood the club is forced to implement the all-seated rule by the Football Licensing Authority.