QPR TO BAN COIN-THROWER FOR LIFE
QPR have vowed to ban for life whoever threw a coin at assistant referee Stuart Burt during their Barclays Premier League win over Arsenal, and appealed to fans to help them identify the culprit.
Rangers have been scouring CCTV footage in a bid to punish the spectator who struck Burt on the back of his neck with a missile moments before the end of Saturday's 2-1 victory at Loftus Road.
The Football Association are understood to be aware of the incident - which occurred after Burt awarded Arsenal a stoppage-time free-kick in front of the Ellerslie Road Stand - and are supporting efforts by QPR and the police to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Rangers said in a statement on their official website, www.qpr.co.uk: "The club is aware of a coin-throwing incident that took place in the latter stages of Saturday's home fixture against Arsenal at Loftus Road.
"The club are now in the process of reviewing CCTV in an effort to identify those people responsible and will take the appropriate action once this process has been completed.
"QPR supporters are reminded that this is a very serious offence and anyone caught throwing an object onto the pitch - towards officials or players - will be issued with an immediate lifetime ban from Loftus Road."
Chief executive Philip Beard added: "Such behaviour is simply not acceptable at Loftus Road, or anywhere else for that matter.
"As a club, we will do everything possible to prevent such incidents happening again.
"The club appeals to any fans who saw the coin-throwing incident to come forward and assist our enquiries."
Supporters can provide evidence confidentially by texting the club's Stadium Control on 07557 435421.
Referee Mike Dean, who reportedly included the incident in his match report, halted Saturday's game for two minutes and brought his assistant in from the touchline as supporters began pointing to where the coin had come from.
Several missiles were reportedly thrown at Burt but the Metropolitan Police today said they had yet to receive a complaint over the matter.
In February 2009, Aston Villa fan John Billington, who threw a 50p piece at a referee's assistant, got a five-year football banning order and was fined £2,300.
Saturday's incident marred what was a shock win for relegation-threatened QPR against an Arsenal side who had won their previous seven league games.
It was also a watershed moment for captain Joey Barton, who was hauled off - and booed off - during Rangers' previous home match against Liverpool.
Summer signing Barton admitted in his programme notes before the Arsenal game that the criticism had affected him and midfield partner Shaun Derry said: "You've got to take your hat off to Joey. He put his heart in his words before the game in his programme notes.
"He came out, explained his feelings and I thought the fans responded fantastically - not just to the team, but to Joey directly.
"You could sense that they all got behind Joey. Personally, I thought that was his best performance this season."
QPR are still deep in trouble and in the midst of a nightmare run-in, which continues with Easter Sunday's trip to Manchester United.
Derry added: "What I'd like us to do is take heart from this result, unlike when we beat Liverpool last time.
"We went into Sunderland and let ourselves down.
"We can't do that when we come up against Manchester United away from home."
Meanwhile, it is understood plans to redevelop the Warren Farm Sports Centre into a new training ground for QPR have been formally submitted to Ealing Council.
Rangers want to leave their current base at Harlington and the Warren Farm site near Osterley Park is thought to be their first choice for a new headquarters.
Chief executive Philip Beard was "quietly confident" last month that the club's plans would be approved.
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