Bristol Rovers striker Stefan Payne has been forced to apologise after making gestures to his own fans during the 1-0 defeat by Barnsley at the weekend.
Rovers are struggling at the foot of League One and Payne came in for some criticism for his performance, which resulted in him gesturing to the fans who were getting on his back. The incident occurred as the 27-year old left the pitch following the defeat by his former club.
He has since apologised after being fined by the League One club, saying: “I accept that my actions on Saturday were wrong. I apologise.”
Manager Darrell Clarke was not a happy man, telling the club’s website: “We by no stretch excuse Stefan’s actions following the final whistle at Oakwell.”
“A good number of Rovers supporters made the long trip to Barnsley and we as a team are grateful for that support. While we are all feeling frustration given the current climate of the league position, it’s important that we are all pulling together in the right direction.”
He confirmed that an investigation had taken place and the former Dover striker had been fined.
“A full internal investigation [took place] after the game and a disciplinary procedure has been concluded. Stefan has been fined for the incident and has been reminded about his future conduct.”
Payne joined Rovers from Shrewsbury in the summer and has two goals from 12 appearances, after bagging 14 in 51 for Paul Hurst’s side last time out.
Payne may as well just number the days between now and January on his calendar because, unless something dramatic happens, he is surely on his way in the winter window.
To put it simply, you cannot make gestures at your own fans. It’s a massive no-no, especially when they’ve travelled a six-hour round journey to support the team.
His Bristol Rovers career? As good as over.