Our last televised home game against Nottingham Forest, was disrupted by supporters who threw balls on the pitch, affecting the players and enjoyment of the game for the majority of fans. It was the majority of supporters reaction to this incident (rather than the throwing of the balls) that motivated me to attend the Supporters’ Committee meetings.
My father and I attended the next two Supporters’ Committee meetings looking to find some middle ground with fans and to accommodate their requirements, hoping to protect the enjoyment of games for the majority of fans. The meetings so far have been positive and have resulted in the following:
⁃ Concessions: reintroduction of concessions in accordance with Premier League ruling (as there are no concessionary requirements in the Football League)
⁃ Crest: to consult with fans on the redesign of the Club Crest
⁃ Brand Guidelines: to amend existing brand guidelines as per the fans’ reasonable wishes
We were disappointed by the thinly veiled threats reported in the local media ahead of the third meeting by the Supporters’ Trust and subsequently decided to postpone the meeting to give an opportunity for the Supporters’ Trust to retract the threat of further disruptive action during the next televised home game and continue the positive discussions with full participation in the next Supporters’ Committee meeting.
Subsequently we have received intelligence ahead of our home game against Sheffield United which suggests that supporters will be bringing referees’ whistles to the game, with the sole intention of disrupting the match which is broadcast live on Sky on Friday 23rd of February.
The consequences of this disruptive action could lead to one of the following; abandonment of the match, sanctions or fines to the Club or games being played behind closed doors.
We hope the threat of disruptive action during the game is withdrawn by protesters. We will consider facilitating any ‘peaceful’ protests by supporter groups as long as they are done before the game, at half-time or after the match.
We all need to support the manager and the team who work tirelessly during the week and give them our full backing for the 90 plus minutes once the whistle is blown and put aside any differences we may have and allow the Supporters’ Committee meeting to continue peacefully.