MORE than 40 banning orders were given to Bolton Wanderers fans over last season, a significant increase on the previous year.

The Home Office findings show that, as of August 1, 47 bans were given to Whites fans over the course of the 2020/21 season, an additional 14 added to the 33 ban already in place after the 2019/20 season.

These figures came before further disorder at Wanderer's clash with Wigan Athletic last Saturday which saw bottles and debris thrown at players outside the ground, which was roundly condemned by the club itself and the majority of fans.

Following the match, a Bolton Wanderers spokesperson said: "Bolton Wanderers are investigating a number of incidents of crowd disorder at Saturday’s game against Wigan Athletic at the University of Bolton Stadium.

"A number of spectators from both clubs were ejected following incidents in the second half when objects, including pyrotechnics, were thrown onto the pitch.

"Wanderers will continue to work closely with Greater Manchester Police to identify offenders and take action.

"Wanderers, meanwhile, firmly condemn any form of crowd disorder at their games."

Handed down by courts to prevent violence or disorder connected with football matches, banning orders stop people attending regulated matches and are issued following a conviction for a football-related offence or following complaints from the police or Crown Prosecution Service.

The banning orders came as part of a total of 1,359 across England and Wales during the same period.

There were also 116 arrests related to football nationally during the 2020-21 season, down from 1,089 the year before, two of which involved Bolton Wanderers fans.

Both were arrested for breaching banning orders.

Professor Pearson, senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Manchester, claims that the use of banning orders is a "sensible" way of preventing disorder.

He said: "The policing of football in this country has taken massive strides over the last decade and now we have a situation where the vast majority of matches pass peacefully.

"Those bans have played a significant role in reducing overall levels of violence and disorder, though what is less clear is the impact of bans on people who have not been convicted."