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
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
“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
“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
“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