Paul March’s Two Month Stadium Ban


No doubt you will have heard the news concerning the two month stadium ban for Paul March.  The sanction means that he cannot be present in the stadium 90 minutes before the kick off at any first or second team Keighley Cougars game and only return to the stadium 30 minutes after the full time whistle.

I personally represented Paul at the disciplinary hearing last night at Red Hall because I believed Paul was innocent of the allegations he faced.  I also took along 2 witnesses who believed the same.  The disciplinary panel decided otherwise and imposed a sanction which is, I believe, without precedent in the history of rugby league for an offence such as this.

I am shocked at the extent of the ban and so is Paul. The reactions so far on Twitter appear to be the same.  Paul maintains his innocence regarding the allegation and is taking advice from GMB Union regarding an appeal.

The club will stand by Paul and his family during this time and I sincerely hope everyone at the club, and all within rugby league, do likewise.  I am sure that in the face of adversity, and Keighley Cougars has experienced plenty of adversity over the past 20 years, we will be strong and use this negative as an empowering positive for the rest of the season.  We are not beaten, nor broken, and I am sure our team will want do their talking on the pitch and support their Head Coach by delivering results for him, so he can walk back into the stadium at around 5.15pm with a big grin on his face.

The journey to success is never smooth.  If it was everyone would be successful.  This is a bump in the road we will manage and I ask everyone at the club and rugby league everywhere to give Paul their full support.

Gary Fawcett – Chairman




11 thoughts on “Paul March’s Two Month Stadium Ban

  1. Just heard the news about Paul….I don’t know the detail of the allegation but whatever was said this is an absolutely ridiculous punishment, well above anything I can remember. What a way to treat a person who has dedicated his life to the game and is now helping young players make their way in the game.

    As seen in many games this season the team has shown the potential they have to succeed under the direction of Paul, so regardless of this stupid decision, just keep up the great work.

    Most importantly would just want to offer best wishes to Paul, his family and the team as a whole.

    Once again it feels like someone at Red Hall really does have something against the cougars…….think I am ok to say that unless they start hauling supporters in front of the disciplinary panel!!!……come on everyone, get behind Paul and the Cougars, they can punish us as much as they like but can’t take away our spirit!

  2. This was a great surprise to us as we were not aware that he was before the disciplinary committee. Hope the appeal is successful and that the Cougars pull out all the stops during this difficult period

  3. Is there any way that we can protest against this wholly unprecented and over reaction to a routine punishment?
    Paul may not be everyone’s favourite but he certainly adds colour and excitement to any match.
    The disciplinary committee and RFL need to stand up and take a good look at thereselves as they have totally mishandled this situation at such a crucial time and season for the largely unfashionable cougars.
    Why weren’t such heavy punishments handed out to the bankrupt neighbours in Bradford. This would surely have been the equivalent of a double relegation and yet the Bulls are allowed to continue charging the RL public for putting out a substandard team. More like a trading standards issue of substandard wares on sale.

    I will certainly continue to bang the drum for Paul and hope that many other honest RL fans will follow suit. Where do I sign the petition ?

  4. We stand by Paul march my boys think the world of marchy and look up to him and see him as a role model.they will be upset they won’t see him after the game And even more upset that when they are mAscots their sister Wong be able to be carried on by him.our family stand by marchy Nd hope he’s back soon

  5. pratts it stands out these so called people want there back sides kicking who are they is club call keighley again they stink come on lads you all can beat these jokers at red hall

  6. The decision against Paul March is disgraceful.
    The Rugby Football League have delivered a blow against both the club and the town.
    The decision is unprecedented. No rugby league player – coach has ever been treated in this way.
    Imagine the uproar if a decision like this had been made against Wigan, St Helens or Leeds?
    I will write to The The RFL urging them to reverse the decision and ask every RL supporter to do the same.

  7. I’m actually not a Cougars fan but I do like Rugby League and I have been follwing the Paul March story with interest because I think the punishment here is unprecedented. I assumed that he must have said something which was shocking beyond belief to receive such a ban.

    Then I read today that Simon Harrison has admitted the offence and said that March is not guilty. He said the same at the tribunal. So it appears that March (who seems to have given his life to the game at every level) is both innocent and receiving a career threatening punishment. And by implication the RFL are saying that one of the game’s desperately needed sponsors is a liar. There’s mischief afoot, make no mistake.

  8. British law says innocent until proved guilty. If guilt can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt then a conviction might follow. If there is no evidence of guilt and by all accounts the “culprit” has admitted it and there are witnesses to support this then guilt cannot be proven. As Keith says above, “there’s mischief afoot……”. Mischief is an understatement!. The RFL and in particular the disciplinary committee and its partners have brought the game in more disrepute than a long serving, passionate and committed player/coach is accused of doing – seemingly without any foundation. Let common sense and fairness prevail.

  9. So Alan Pardew headbutts a player and gets a 3 match stadium ban, someone other than Paul says something in the tunnel (and only the referee thinks that it was Paul), and he gets a 2 month ban. It seems to me that this is prevalent across sport, amateur officials in football, cricket, racing are always correct even when the evidence shows they are wrong.
    What has happened to natural justice? We need to write to our M.P. to take up this case as clearly the authorities think they are infallible.

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