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CLUB STATEMENT : Supporter Behaviour at Brechin

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Scotty    1,778

I had been trying to figure out how to voice my opinion on this one until Doofers Dad came along and basically said almost exactly what I was thinking. Enjoyment is fine, but like it or not, some things are against the law at a football match and flares and smoke bombs fall under that category. (covered under s. 20 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995) : reference material - http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/06/7094/7 / http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0052/00520637.pdf

 

From the club perspective, how should they have handled it? Brechin complained to them, the police complained to them, some supporters complained to them, and the match observer reported the issue to the SPFL who have issued the club with an "unacceptable conduct" letter.  We don't know the contents of that letter but it cant be good. These things never are. At best the club will get censured and told to make sure it doesn't happen again, but as it has already happened several times in the last couple of seasons then its far more likely to end up with the club getting a fine of some sort which will probably run into a few thousand £££s .... money that could easily be best spent somewhere else. D&E coaches are likely none too pleased either and that's another potential problem for the supporters/travel club in future.

I agree that we want the supporters to be encouraged to make noise and atmosphere, regardless of age, although it has to be said the young crew have way more energy than us old farts do so it does fall on them to gee us all up ... but FFS you can do that without breaking the law. The law may be an ass, and personally I have a fundamental problem with the concept and draconian application of Football Banning Orders (https://www.mygov.scot/football-banning-orders/) but it IS the law and the authorities or those in charge will come down on those who choose to break it. Totally agree that the stewards can and will over-react, and that the direction of the over-reaction will often be the young supporters. Apart from anything else, the young supporters of a team like us, with a smaller support, are just like 'prey' in the animal kingdom ... seen as the easiest pickings. Its not right, but its how the world works.

I have posted a few times about the dead atmosphere at the TCS on my last few trips back when compared to the football I watch every week here in Toronto, or even to the football I used to watch at the TCS every home game when i still lived in Inverness. It is really sad to see all the enjoyment being sucked out of football in the UK and its not just at ICT, its all around. We should encourage supporters to enjoy the game and create atmosphere but it has to be done safely. smoke and especially flares are not safe. The simple fact is that the authorities have the upper hand here. Get convicted of a football related offence and you can be banned for up to 10 years. Get a criminal conviction and it can follow you for the rest of your life .... Its a bit of a tangent, but did you know that something as simple as an impaired driving conviction makes you inadmissible to even enter Canada as a visitor (assuming you declare it on your landing form or they check !!!). Simple solution is to try and work with the club and/or other bodies to change the rules relating to smoke. It took a long time but they eventually relented on the safe standing issue, flags, smoke and other things could be something that could be negotiated in future perhaps.

Again I go back to a Toronto example (sorry, its all I have on a weekly basis) .... there are a bunch of different supporters groups at TFC. One of those groups was called "North End Elite" who styled themselves in the Ultra culture and did not follow rules, especially as it related to smoke and flares. You can google them and read more but the bottom line is that they no longer exist under that name and quite a few of their number have lifetime bans from TFC as well as criminal convictions. The other supporters groups complained just as loudly that they wanted smoke or some form of pyro and it took several years but now its allowed ... there's a set of guidelines to follow and safety training and procedures to follow, but its allowed and it does add to the atmosphere.There are a good few folk on here who have visited Canada and come to games with me at some point who have experienced this atmosphere. Sometimes you have to work within the system and bend the rules or push the envelope a little to get them to change ... defiantly breaking them will not make that happen and if the group that condones it or does nothing about it doesn't 'self-police' to eradicate that behaviour then there is only ever going to be one winner and its not going to be the supporters !      

 

 

 

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Murphyscot    41
3 hours ago, RiG said:

 

 

Rather than Manning up and going "Sorry guys, we f**ked up" They've just gave the club the middle finger instead. If they were proper supporters of the club then they'd either issue a statement of apology if any of their members were responsible or at least say they'd offer to assist the club in helping to try and find those responsible. 

 

I could be very wrong here and apologise if i am. But from this statement it does kind of sound like some of the guilty parties maybe within the leadership of the group. Respect must be earned, not just given. These boys must learn that, as from the wording of this statement they don't respect other supporters, the club or its good name which because of them is being dragged through the mud. If this is the case then good riddance, go support a club which will condone this behaviour, either of the ugly sisters come to mind.

 

As has been mentioned on this thread and a few others. We all want a bit more atmosphere at the games and generally these guys do try to inject that into the north stand. and then go an ruin it by setting off smoke bombs and chucking them onto the pitch because they've had a whiff of a pint and think they're the big man in front of their pals. When actually its quite selfish, they don't know exactly how many people in the stands have asthma or other respiratory conditions that these could aggravate. Plus as has been said many a time, setting smoke bombs and flares off at a match is actually illegal and these idiots are lucky they just get chucked out the stadium and not into a cell for the night or weekend or have the police waiting for them to do the same when the bus dropped them off after the criminal damage that was caused

 

Unfortunately I can't ever see this problem stopping. Unless because of a few idiots and not just those ones "claiming" to support our great club. They decide to do a stop and search of everyone entering the stadium regardless of if they have a bag or not and if found to be carrying such items are then refused entry even if they've just bought a ticket or are a ST holder. Then imagine how long those queues would be, plus the extra expense to the club of having to take on more stewards to deal with this. That wouldn't improve anyone's matchday experience. In fact may actually drive already low attendance figures down even more. Just because a few wee idiots within their ranks think its "enhances" the atmosphere.  Just singing, banging the drum and generally cheering the players on will do it, and if they behave they may find their numbers may rise with both younger and older fans.
 

 

 

 

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quizzer    55

Just wanted to echo what others have said before regarding this NOT being just about the smoke bomb/flares/whatever the heck they are.  I commented after a game recently how the result was spoilt by the behaviour of some of these guys after the game, where some of them were running along outside the stadium afterwards singing the sort of nonsense that's nothing to do with our club but everything to do with the old firm, and then going on to intimidate our own fans on the walk into town afterwards.  

This goes back a good few seasons, and I've got friends who'll never go on a bus to an away game again due to the way they behaved towards them.

I'm not interested in the argument that oh it's only smoke bombs/oh it's only a small group/och they are just young boys - it's wrong, it's against regulations, it's offending other fans and I couldn't care less whether it's accepted at other clubs or not, it's neither welcome or accepted at our club.

What's almost laughable is that I know that the club were intending to engage with these guys and discuss how they could work together to enhance the atmosphere.  That ship has now firmly sailed.

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Gringo    390

So sad that these small boys want to be big boys so soon. No doubt those responsible have already been identified and will be 'spoken to'. As for the Ul17 statement it only highlights to me the childishness that is within their ranks. I'm all for them making a noise and trying to create an atmosphere but they must tow the line and fall in with all those that know how to behave. 

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+jingsmonty    197
3 hours ago, Gringo said:

So sad that these small boys want to be big boys so soon. No doubt those responsible have already been identified and will be 'spoken to'. As for the Ul17 statement it only highlights to me the childishness that is within their ranks. I'm all for them making a noise and trying to create an atmosphere but they must tow the line and fall in with all those that know how to behave. 

I sit in the North Stand, not far from the 'Young Team' & I'm usually grateful for the atmosphere they try & create. Nobody wants to be sitting in deathly silence at a game! 

But, I fear the latest episode has drawn attention to them & that with all that's gone on (flares/smokebombs/damaged bus &, particularly, an official 'unacceptable conduct' letter) & the end result will either be: worse behaviour or the loss of the young team altogether, neither of which is good for anyone.

Another poster said that the club were willing to meet them? Hopefully this could still go ahead (including the UI17 group) - unless the people who run this were involved in what happened at Brechin, of course!

Dialogue is the best way..

The club is for everyone...young, old, families etc....!

Edited by jingsmonty
Typos in post

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I don't get to that many matches these days, especially 'home' matches.  But the few times I've been, I have seen these youngsters in action, and yes, they do provide a bit of atmosphere.  But, like for anyone else, there are rules to be obeyed, and when they infringe them, especially when safety of fellow supporters could be compromised, then they have to be taken to task. If they are not able to admit that sometimes they overstep the mark, then clearly they have a lot of growing up to do. So, if they now choose to take the huff and stay away, that is their choice, and I dare say there are quite a few supporters who will not miss them.

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Eagle4Caley    297

I think it's quite possible, to make a lot of noise and atmosphere without resorting to either flares, abuse, damage or intimidation...however some of the later may be linked to excessive drinking.

It's great that some young lads are keen to improve the atmosphere at games and show support for the team, but it must be done within the confines of the law, and if that happens generally everyone gets on board.

Down in my neck of the woods my other team have a pseudo 'Ultra's group called the Holmesdale Fanatic's and they are part of the reason why the atmosphere at Palace games is considered to be amongst the best, they also do a great job with displays at matches. Just occasionally they (or their hangers-on) get above themselves and we see the odd flare or firecracker going off (but only at away games) this doesn't go down to well with most of the fan base, and forums are usually  busy afterwards with for and against. In the end the authorities will win every time so why push it? And there's no bonus points for getting a bad reputation for being bad away travellers, it potential has ramifications for the rest of us.

Hopefully the club and this particular group can achieve a meeting of minds and then we can move on. Watching football in a fervent, noisy but ultimately peace-loving atmosphere is the best (when your winning!)

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+jingsmonty    197
2 minutes ago, Eagle4Caley said:

I think it's quite possible, to make a lot of noise and atmosphere without resorting to either flares, abuse, damage or intimidation...however some of the later may be linked to excessive drinking.

It's great that some young lads are keen to improve the atmosphere at games and show support for the team, but it must be done within the confines of the law, and if that happens generally everyone gets on board.

Down in my neck of the woods my other team have a pseudo 'Ultra's group called the Holmesdale Fanatic's and they are part of the reason why the atmosphere at Palace games is considered to be amongst the best, they also do a great job with displays at matches. Just occasionally they (or their hangers-on) get above themselves and we see the odd flare or firecracker going off (but only at away games) this doesn't go down to well with most of the fan base, and forums are usually  busy afterwards with for and against. In the end the authorities will win every time so why push it? And there's no bonus points for getting a bad reputation for being bad away travellers, it potential has ramifications for the rest of us.

Hopefully the club and this particular group can achieve a meeting of minds and then we can move on. Watching football in a fervent, noisy but ultimately peace-loving atmosphere is the best (when your winning!)

That's well put & hopefully the club can meet with them & sort things out - I want the young team to kerp going, but, as others have said, man up & acknowledge that things do get out of hand sometimes..

2 hours ago, RiG said:

Yep, good article, thanks for the link

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+jingsmonty    197
15 hours ago, quizzer said:

Just wanted to echo what others have said before regarding this NOT being just about the smoke bomb/flares/whatever the heck they are.  I commented after a game recently how the result was spoilt by the behaviour of some of these guys after the game, where some of them were running along outside the stadium afterwards singing the sort of nonsense that's nothing to do with our club but everything to do with the old firm, and then going on to intimidate our own fans on the walk into town afterwards.  

This goes back a good few seasons, and I've got friends who'll never go on a bus to an away game again due to the way they behaved towards them.

I'm not interested in the argument that oh it's only smoke bombs/oh it's only a small group/och they are just young boys - it's wrong, it's against regulations, it's offending other fans and I couldn't care less whether it's accepted at other clubs or not, it's neither welcome or accepted at our club.

What's almost laughable is that I know that the club were intending to engage with these guys and discuss how they could work together to enhance the atmosphere.  That ship has now firmly sailed.

Hopefully not - I'd hope there would still be a meeting, best way forward

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21 hours ago, ictchris said:

I remember when I used to read outraged complaints on here about me and my mates at games, I'm getting old lads.

Me too :lol:

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+Moogthurso    63
On 31/08/2017 at 7:13 PM, RiG said:

Another statement:

 

As i said on brechin matchday post other fans would know who was responsible and should be dealing with them before it got to banning orders. Instead ul17 duck responsibility and blame everyone else. 

Moray jaggie and pumpfake you seem very positive about the atmosphere they create as am I but if they had taken an ounce of responsibility or if you could have influenced their behaviour we would not be in this stupid situation. 

Everyone slated me for saying other fans should get involved but as everyone is proud to say we are the club and tacit acceptance of unacceptable behaviour causes more problems to develop. 

As for the fact they are young or old that doesnt bother me. I dont know where the obsession with age and sweetie wrappers comes in on this forum. It is only the criminal behaviour that has to be dealt with and earlier intervention by ul17  on their members or people who know them  could have stopped all this in january. 

There have been hints online and from police of violent behaviour at previous games as someone who picked up pieces from the hearts casuals before that needs stamped out now and if losing these self destructive pillocks is the answer i am all for it. I regret others could not influence them first and that is the lost opportunity.

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+Moogthurso    63

Ps an appropriate  punishment for any over exuberant fans would be to sing a bridge and a castle three times like a hail mary after confession and get videod doing it for the club tvs and their facebook page.

That would stop any pretence of ultraviolence and aggression as there is no way you can do anything but smile and laugh when you hear the most twee football song in the world. 

Every visitor i have ever taken has always smiled and compared it to the glasgow rubbish or the hatred between derby clubs elsewhere.

If they then reoffend a three match stint in the nessie uniform entertaining the kids would be the high security reoffend option. 

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I think that the usual process of things has let us down and the club have to take a sweeping action, forced by the SFA to try and resolve the issue.

If the flare issue was solved through legal investigation and prosecution led by the police

If the D&E coaches issue was solved through private civil action and;

If any offensive behaviour was dealt with by stewards throwing folk out....then the club wouldn't have to alienate the few vocal fans on the right side of the law. I feel for the club as it's a very difficult situation to be in.

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dougal    180

Maybe a certain someone will get the dreaded knock at the door in Chorley and handed a banning order, after all he's still wearing the same flares he wore in the seventies

Dougal

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RiG    2,209

Nothing on the club site (yet?) but BBC reporting a number of fans have been banned.

 

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Kingsmills    3,290

A shame it had to come to that. Perhaps if they were to apologise both to our own club and to Brechin and give an undertaking to conduct themselves responsibly in the future the ban could be lifted.

We need all the support we can get, particularly from the young and enthusiastic.

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Laurence    77

Not being one to cast the stone , in a biblical sense , I did not have a lily white  time  myself as a teenager.

I shall not complain,  as I am sure the Police and the authorities will take the appropriate action, and those involved will learn that  this sort of behaviour will not be accepted by the main public at large

I  do hope that if suitable remorse is shown by the youngsters no banning order will not be permanent.

 

 

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+jingsmonty    197
41 minutes ago, Kingsmills said:

A shame it had to come to that. Perhaps if they were to apologise both to our own club and to Brechin and give an undertaking to conduct themselves responsibly in the future the ban could be lifted.

We need all the support we can get, particularly from the young and enthusiastic.

Maybe, but don't think the club had much choice really - when they are being invoiced by other football clubs & bus companies for damage caused, don't think they can argue with a ban - they could have been charged.

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+jingsmonty    197
Just now, Laurence said:

Not being one to cast the stone , in a biblical sense , I did not have a lily white  time  myself as a teenager.

I shall not complain,  as I am sure the Police and the authorities will take the appropriate action, and those involved will learn that  this sort of behaviour will not be accepted by the main public at large

I  do hope that if suitable remorse is shown by the youngsters no banning order will not be permanent.

 

 

In fairness, would agree with the hope that a heartfelt apology would go a long way to making the ban temporary (although I think, if I've read the club statement correctly, it only applies this season)..

Think they'd have to offer to make some sort of concrete attempt at remorse (such as paying for the damage caused).

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MorayJaggie    4

The first I've heard of damage in the ground being caused is in the club statement nothing has been mentioned before this. Can brechin prove this conclusively because whilst attending the dons game last week there were seats in a dangerous condition throughout the stand not just in the corner the indcidents took place and no attempt by brechin or its quality stewards to cordon these off a week later. 

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12 minutes ago, MorayJaggie said:

The first I've heard of damage in the ground being caused is in the club statement nothing has been mentioned before this. Can brechin prove this conclusively because whilst attending the dons game last week there were seats in a dangerous condition throughout the stand not just in the corner the indcidents took place and no attempt by brechin or its quality stewards to cordon these off a week later. 

Once they behaved the way they did they were always on a hiding to nothing. Once the SFA got involved the club had no where to go other than do what they have done to avoid a big fine. Brechin may well have jumpred on the band wagon but there is no defence for the behaviour. They left themselves open and will have to live with the consequences. Hopefully they will learn from it and move on - or alternatively take it over the bridge where I am sure Cunty will be only to pleased to welcome them in lol

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