A top judge has called for a tax on Premier League clubs to pay the cost of police investigations into catching violent football hooligans.
District Judge Richard Blake said it was ”wrong” that ordinary taxpayers are paying thousands of pounds to prosecute football thugs.
Instead he demanded that clubs impose a ”one per cent tax” on cash-rich stars such as Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard to help out ”hard-pressed” police.
He made his comments after banning violent hooligan Andrew Deans, 24, from British football grounds for three years for attacking cops with rocks, bins and a moped.
Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard the investigation cost taxpayers £3,269 – but Deans will not be forced to pay it back because he does not earn enough money.
Judge Blake said: ”With all this money in football, there is something wrong that the public purse is paying for this.
”Perhaps it is something the Government could look into. Perhaps there should be a levy on all clubs to pay for these sorts of cases.
”The hard-pressed Lincolnshire Police has better things to spend money on than this sort of thing, albeit it is important.”
Lincolnshire Police is still pursuing Deans for £2,500 costs after he admitted 17 violent football-related offences minutes before his trial was due to start.
But the part-time shop assistant from Lincoln, Lincs., will never pay back the full amount because he only earns £6,100 a year.
Deans was in a gang of 15 violent hooligans who attacked two South Yorkshire Police officers during a clash with Sheffield United on July 28 2009.
They hurled rocks, bins and even a moped at the two officers who tried to stop the gang attacking away fans.
Deans was also involved in clashes between Lincoln City and Grimsby Town supporters on February 20 2010.
Daniel Richardson, prosecuting, told Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Monday that CCTV footage showed Deans running at rival fans.
He said: ”There was disorder in the stadium where we had Lincoln City fans running at Grimsby Town fans.
”The scenes are reminiscent of football hooligans that blighted the 1980s.”
The court heard Deans was handed a three-year banning order in 2006 but it was lifted 12 months later after he complied with the conditions.
He is now banned from all UK football grounds for three years and barred from visiting streets near Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank stadium two hours before kick-off and three hours after the final whistle.
Football teams are already required to pay a partial cost for policing inside and near their grounds.
This usually only covers a small percentage of the overall figure with the rest of the bill picked up by the police.
An FA spokesman said: ”We pay policing costs, which can certainly run into tens of thousands or more for many clubs. I don’t really know what more football can do.
”You don’t tell shops to pay for court costs when people shoplift from them.”
Football intelligence officer Pc Andy Pearson said: ”Lincolnshire Police and Lincoln City FC work very closely to ensure the match day experience remains a safe and enjoyable experience.”