Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh has told talkSPORT the fans involved in Saturday’s ugly scenes of violence and racism are ‘in the minority’ and ‘are not welcome’ at the club.
The Lions claimed one of the biggest scalps of the FA Cup fourth round as they beat Premier League Everton 3-2 at The Den thanks to a dramatic injury-time winner from Murray Wallace.
But the sensational result for the Championship side has been soured by two incidents involving their fans, which Kavanagh says has left club chiefs ‘disgusted and very upset’.
There was a mass brawl away from the stadium before kick-off, during which an Everton fan was slashed across the face with a knife, while a small group of supporters also allegedly directed racially abusive chanting towards the visiting supporters during the game.
Millwall’s defeat of Everton will go down in the club’s history – but will be forever marred by the shocking scenes of violence and racist chanting
talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino admitted he was ’embarrassed’ to be a Millwall supporter after the deplorable scenes, and urged the club to ‘get rid’ of the small pocket of trouble-making fans who appear to want to ensure the club’s reputation remains one of the poorest in world football.
Kavanagh joined host Jim White on Monday to give an official response to the incidents, and confirmed the club are ‘working hard’ to identify those involved and will dish out life bans to those found guilty.
And he also urged people not to tar the club and the majority of their well-behaved fans with the same brush as the yobs who are constantly dragging the Millwall name through the mud.
“Let’s make this clear, anyone who had done this is not welcome at the club – we don’t want them here,” said Kavanagh in an exclusive interview.
“Let’s actually separate ‘the club’ and ‘these people’. The club don’t want this. We are disgusted by this, we’re upset about this and we’re not happy.
“The people and good honest fans weren’t doing this, this is a small pocket of people. Let’s remember the other fans. They deserve credit.
Every deal done by Premier League clubs in the summer transfer window
Man United star ‘offered 12-month deal’ amid Juventus and Barcelona links
Adrien Rabiot ‘rejects’ Spurs move and would rather join Liverpool or Barca
Matondo to become next British youngster to move to Germany, confirms Guardiola
don’t let him go
Chelsea star urges club to block Hudson-Odoi transfer to Bayern Munich
Hudson-Odoi ‘agrees’ to stay at Chelsea until summer amid Bayern interest
West Ham in talks with Sheffield United over midfield star – reports
West Ham boss relieved Marko Arnautovic transfer saga is finally over
“This is a very, very small minority, the majority of fans were absolutely fantastic on Saturday and created an atmosphere and helped create a result the FA should be proud of for the competition, and yet we’re giving these idiots the oxygen after what they did, and that’s just crazy.
“If we can get these people, we’ll ban them, we’ll deal with them. We’ll do whatever we can do.
“I’ve had staff in yesterday going through CCTV and we’re already working hard on that. If we can identify them, we’ve made it clear those people will be banned for life. We’ve already today banned two people for discriminatory behaviour from a few weeks ago. They’re gone, banned for life and have been handed to the police.
“The fans are coming out now saying they don’t want this in their ground. The vast majority of the fans are fantastic people, they’re proud of their club and they create an unbelievable atmosphere. They don’t want to cross that line, but there are a few uneducated people who don’t understand.
“And let’s be straight, this isn’t just a Millwall issue, Chelsea have had a lot of issues recently, and there was a banana thrown [by a Tottenham fan] recently.
Arsenal forward Aubameyang looks into the crowd in disbelief after seeing the banana land close to him back in December
“This is a society issue, and I’m not taking us out of that, but we all need to work together to rid these people that feel racism is OK, when it’s not. It’s not acceptable behaviour.
“It’s not my job to try and educate society, but it is my job to make sure those people know they are not welcome at this club.
“The club do not want these fans and we are really upset about it. We should have had a great weekend after such a fantastic result, and the majority of the fans were brilliant that day.”
Kavanagh also argued against calls to have Millwall thrown out of the fifth round draw, saying doing so would be unfair to the majority of fans who are a credit to their club and who created an amazing atmosphere at The Den against Everton.
There have been calls to throw Millwall out of the FA Cup
He added: “Why would you punish the club? Why would you punish everyone? Why would you punish the genuine fans who behave themselves? It’s a very antiquated way of looking at things in my view.
“This hasn’t just happened on Saturday at Millwall, this happens up and country. This does happen. If we want to put our heads in the sand and pretend this doesn’t happen… and what are we going to do, shut every ground or chuck everyone out of the cup when a small group of people… are we going to let 30 people win in that way?
“That’s not going to change anything. Let’s be sensible.”
Listen to talkSPORT’s interview with Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh IN FULL above