Burnley boss Sean Dyche welcomes 'friendly fire' in football, but wants to see an end to the vulgarities!

Sean Dyche has no issue with 'friendly fire' from fans in football, but reiterated the notion that anything teetering on vulgarity is completely unacceptable.

Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche gestures during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Fulham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 17, 2021.
Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche gestures during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Fulham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 17, 2021.

Football has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late with players and officials subjected to abhorrent slurs across various social media platforms.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah is the latest high-profile footballer to receive racist abuse online while the likes of Anthony Martial, Alex Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford, Alex Jankewitz, Romain Sawyers, Reece James and sister Lauren James have also been targeted.

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Stoke City's James McClean has also suffered abuse while Premier League referee Mike Dean was subjected to death threats following a controversial decision in the game between Fulham and West Ham United.

Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche (L) gestures to fourth official Mike Dean (R) during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on November 23, 2020.

The Burnley boss has experienced his fair share of stick over the years and is more than happy to entertain the good humoured exchanges. However, he wants to see a lid put on the more threatening interactions.

"It's always been there," he said. "I've been in football all my life and there's always been stick from the terraces, from fans and sometimes in your private life.

"That goes above and beyond and we don't want to see that. You get a bit of stick in the street, but usually most people in my time as a player, a coach and a manager are pretty gracious.

"There's a bit of friendly fire, it's usually good humoured. There's a small minority that puts that at risk with vulgar terminology, behaviour or threats, but in my experience it's a small minority.

Tomas Soucek of West Ham appeals to match referee Mike Dean after being shown a red card during the Premier League match between Fulham and West Ham United at Craven Cottage on February 06, 2021 in London, England.

"I hope that continues. In sport you do want that friendly fire, you want that bit of atmosphere, it can't all be pure and wonderful, but you certainly don't want anyone being threatened. That's something that needs to disappear."

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Dyche added: "Most people in my experience have a bit of fun about it, they have a bit of banter, so I must defend the masses. Even in the grounds you have 'moments', but they're never threatening.

"Whatever your pathway is in life it's a pretty basic principle. If you're not going to speak to somebody about it, and you're not willing to use those strong words, then you shouldn't use them at all if you're not willing to say it to their face.

"I've experienced it myself with football fans who have said things via different situations and they're considerably different in their views when you meet them.

"When it's really harsh, really threatening, and it goes into vulgarity with people's families, then people know it's unacceptable, no matter what mood you're in or what moment you're in."

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Dean will return to action when taking charge of Burnley's Premier League game against West Brom at the weekend.

The 52-year-old and his family received the threats on social media after Dean had been involved in two controversial incidents.

The referee showed a red card to West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek for catching Aleksandar Mitrovic with his elbow late on during the goalless draw at Fulham and also sent off Southampton defender Jan Bednarek in the 9-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Both of the decisions - which followed Dean reviewing each incident on the pitchside monitor after consulting VAR - were later overturned following an appeal.

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Dean asked to be stood down from the next round of Premier League fixtures, although he was in charge of the FA Cup fifth-round tie between Leicester and Brighton last Wednesday.

Dyche said: "I've said for many years, the one thing I've learned is that the three toughest jobs on any given matchday are those of the two managers and the referee.

"They're always under the most scrutiny, the most demand, the most stress, the most pressure. They're the three toughest jobs in my opinion.

"The players have a tough job to deliver, but from a literal viewpoint, from the scrutinisation, from pundits and the media, they are often the toughest jobs.

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"We'll welcome him back, we want people out there to feel free in doing their jobs, to referee wisely, so we hope he's fit and well and ready to go again."