Just when you think you’ve seen everything in football, something totally out of the blue occurs to
disprove that theory and I think it’s fair to say that’s what happened in that first half on Saturday.
In a game that we had to win by two goals to progress, we didn’t start the game the way we would
have liked or expected and were two down (now needing 4 to progress) after 30 minutes, with the
only consolation being that Alloa were down to ten men after George Stanger was sent off. Like all
Accies fans, I was doubting we could recover when the team produced 10 minutes of football that
was both exhilarating and dynamic. Two goals apiece from Dario and Andy were the end product of
every player being on top of their game and relentless attacking. The confidence began to flow
throughout the team and when Andy completed his hat trick it allowed the players to see out the
game comfortably as Alloa understandably tired. The backing of our supporters when the game
started, during the comeback and at the end of the match was excellent and I’m certain there was a
sense of relief as well as enjoyment by the end of the day.
In my role as the Chairman of the club, I feel the highs and lows of all Accies supporters and fully
understand the frustrations of the last few seasons when we haven’t reached the standards
expected from our club. I also understand the need on occasions to vent that frustration – however
there is a line where the expression of that frustration becomes intolerable and totally
unacceptable, and we reached that on Saturday afternoon. Several supporters shouted vile abusive
comments to our management team and directors that were disgusting and unacceptable in any
environment at any time, never mind a football match where families and young kids are present.
We are working to identify those responsible for this hate crime and these so-called supporters will
receive the banning order they deserve from all football matches.
I have consistently tried to engage with unhappy supporters, even in difficult times, to listen to their
concerns and provide a balanced and fair view whenever possible but there is now a section of fans
who are no longer worthy of any exchange of views.
We all feel the passion of being a supporter and have experienced days when you understandably
express your frustrations or disappointment towards players, management, and directors when
things are going horribly wrong but there must be a control mechanism in place to stop that from
crossing the line of acceptability.
If you personally are unable to control that emotion or feel the need to be overtly abusive, then
please don’t come to the games – you’re not welcome.
In what has been a really difficult season, the players deserve enormous credit for their efforts on
Saturday to turn a seemingly impossible position round when there were chaotic scenes in the
stand, and I ask that you give them your full support over the next two matches. Airdrie have been in
superb form and after their emphatic victory over Falkirk will rightly come into the play off as
favourites. We are a club renowned for succeeding in times of adversity and If we hope to succeed
and retain our position in the Championship, we need everyone pulling in the same direction. I ask
that all supporters give the players their full backing – as Saturday showed, anything can happen in a
game of football.