Please don't abuse our volunteers and staff

Please don't abuse our volunteers and staff!


Darlington FC and DFCSG are committed to providing a professional and responsive service to all supporters at all times. In return we ask that all supporters respect our staff and volunteers, on both matchdays and non-matchdays.

We are sure you will agree with us that our volunteers and staff should not have to deal with any threatening, abusive or violent behaviour, be it done face to face, over the phone, in correspondence, or over social media.


What behaviour is unacceptable?


Unacceptable behaviour is defined as:

Behaviour or language (written, or verbal, though any medium including online) that we consider may cause staff to feel intimidated, afraid, offended, threatened or abused.

Examples of this include (but are not exhaustive):


Communication that we consider to be unreasonably demanding, or unreasonably persistent in its frequency, type and nature. By this we mean face to face, telephone online or through social media.

Inflammatory/derogatory or potentially defamatory statements, remarks of a racial, xenophobic or discriminatory nature and unsubstantiated allegations.

Violent behaviour - Physical contact made in an aggressive or threatening manner. This includes: pushing; jostling; kicking; punching; physical restraint; sexual assault; spitting and use of weapons.

Threatening behaviour - Words or actions that cause a person to be concerned for their safety, the safety of colleagues, or the safety of their property. This includes visual threats or gestures; aggressive stance; sexually explicit or threatening language or body language; abusive phone calls; on-line bullying.

Abusive behaviour - Words or actions that cause a person to feel harassed, intimidated or distressed. This includes: offensive gestures; aggressive stance; abusive, provocative or obscene language and inappropriate use of social media.


What action will we take?


Our position on threatening or violent behaviour, racism or xenophobia is very simple: zero tolerance. We will not tolerate it inside our organisation, and we won’t tolerate it against our staff or volunteers from people outside the organisation. If we feel that a supporter's behaviour is unacceptable we will take the following steps:

Step 1 – Identify - Supporter behaviour is recognised as unacceptable

We will ask the supporter to modify their behaviour and explain why. If the behaviour continues staff and volunteers are advised to remove themselves from the situation. Our policy on matchday incidents can be found here:

Step 2 – Report - Unacceptable behaviour reported internally

The staff member or volunteer will inform their line manager or a member of the DFC or DFCSG Board about the situation and the incident will be recorded.

Step 3 - Review - Unacceptable behaviour investigated

The line manager or other person as appropriate will investigate the situation and decide what action to take. Where relevant we will keep the supporter informed. In some instances we may  escalate to the Police.