Jones: I didn’t hear Owls chants

Dave Jones has said he would have condemned Sheffield Wednesday

fans for singing abusive songs on Friday night if he had heard

them.

A visibly-shaken Jones, cleared of child abuse charges in 2000,

described all Leeds fans as “vile animals” after being targeted by

chanting travelling supporters during his side’s 1-1 draw.

The game was overshadowed by the assault of Owls goalkeeper

Chris Kirkland by a visiting fan who had run on to the pitch to

celebrate Michael Tonge’s second-half equaliser.

Aaron Cawley, 21, from Cheltenham, was jailed for 16 weeks and

handed a five-year football banning order on Monday after pleading

guilty to assault and entering the field.

Wednesday fans sang about the two Leeds fans stabbed to death in

Turkey in 2000, while riot police were called on to quell violent

outbursts. Both the FA and South Yorkshire Police have launched

their own investigations.

Leeds chairman Ken Bates, who condemned both sets of fans, said

that by choosing not to mention the part Wednesday supporters had

played, Jones had lost credibility.

But in direct response Jones, who had earlier apologised for

describing all Leeds fans as “vile animals”, said in a statement:

“While I have nothing but the highest regard for Ken Bates and his

considerable contribution to football over many decades, I feel

compelled to issue a response to his comments published in the

local media.

“I must make it clear that had I heard Sheffield Wednesday

supporters chanting anything of an offensive or abusive nature on

Friday evening, I would have rightly and roundly condemned

them.

“There is no place in football or society for vile chants of any

nature and I endorse that view completely.

“But the abuse aimed at me on Friday was personal. It was also

wrong, it was offensive and not the first time I have endured such

abuse from Leeds United supporters. Why make it personal? Why were

the chants aimed at me?

“I cannot emphasise strongly enough that I condemn any abuse of

any kind from any supporter and I would stress that the vast

majority of fans at every club in the country are decent and

law-abiding.

“I have no desire to become embroiled in a tit-for-tat war of

words on this subject and would now like to draw a line beneath it

and concentrate on the job I am paid to do, which is managing

Sheffield Wednesday.”