Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
38 hours ago - 11 Likes
Spectators at Bulldogs games will be able to "dob in a thug" by calling a hotline if they are being intimidated or harassed.
And in a further attempt to control the club's poor record of fan behaviour, the Bulldogs have asked the wives and children of players to make special messages to be replayed on the video screen at home games.
The steps are an indication the Bulldogs are not prepared to relax in handling their long-running problem of abusive fans.
The Bulldogs are putting the finishing touches on a document into the football club's charter, which will be publicly released early in the New Year.
A central part of this is the conduct of their fans, after the NRL hit the club with an unprecedented suspended penalty of four competition points for crowd violence at the round-three match against Sydney Roosters.
"We are setting up a system at games where fans can ring a number and there will be immediate action taken," Bulldogs chief executive Malcolm Noad said.
"This applies to opposing fans as well, because it has not been only our fans (causing trouble).
"If someone feels threatened or intimidated or offended by abusive language, they can ring the number."
The hotline number will be displayed on the big screen at the club's two home venues of Telstra Stadium and Sydney Showground as well as featuring on signage at the grounds.
The use of players' families on the big screen will be to reassure women and children that attending Bulldogs games is safe and enjoyable.
A number of Bulldogs fans banned from attending NRL games last season are allowed back in 2005 on strict conditions.
"We have communicated with them post-ban and they know they will be under a tremendous amount of scrutiny next year and that any other breaches will mean a ban for life," Noad said.
NRL chief operating officer Graham Annesley said deducting competition points from clubs as a penalty for unruly fans is still a possibility in 2005.
"Obviously that's the more drastic step, but it's one that is available to us if we think it's required," Annesley said.