Time for A-League supporters to take responsibility

Nicholas Carroll Roar Guru

By Nicholas Carroll, Nicholas Carroll is a Roar Guru

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    Western Sydney Wanderers fans represent one half of the derby magic. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

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    It’s time for A-League supporter groups to stand up and take responsibility for the actions of their members.

    Too often, crowd issues have been met by deflecting blame to anyone around them, including the media, the FFA, grounds, police and security.

    It’s time they took responsibility for the image of football in Australia being tarnished.

    The opening paragraph alone is enough to rile the die-hard members of the larger supporter groups such as the Red and Black Bloc, the Cove or the Blue and White Brigade and will be met with the argument these active groups keep the game alive.

    And there are no arguments here. The energy and atmosphere that has been installed into the A-League from these fans has been fantastic, and exactly the kind of supporters we need to continue to grow the game in Australia.

    However, it makes me cringe that I need to refer to the infamous Spiderman phrase of, ‘with great power, comes great responsibility’. And unfortunately, I do not believe the supporter groups are taking sufficient responsibility for their members’ actions.

    Earlier in the season, the powerful fan movement headed by the catchphrase of ‘passion is not a crime’ came to fruition, with fans from numerous A-League clubs unifying over its message.

    The movement came after some sensationalised media coverage of the first Sydney match. Who would have thought, mainstream media conducting themselves in poorly accurate and sensationalised journalism practises? Let’s face it, it’s nothing new.

    From here, reported crowd issues across the A-League have seemingly become more frequent and intense, closely associated with the larger supporter groups in the A-League.

    Yet still, the likes of the RBB have subjected themselves to silent protests, and even boycotting the purchase of stadium food and drinks.

    This has seemingly come to a head in the last couple weeks, with A-League incidents not only heading the football or sports news, but in fact entire news broadcasts.

    The first being the supposed Melbourne Heart fan king-hitting a Wanderers supporter, followed up by some appalling behaviour from RBB individuals at the Sydney derby.

    Enough is enough. The bad press these incidents are now generating makes the likes of Channel Nine’s derby coverage last December, that riled so many A-League supporters last year, look like a million dollar promotion of the game.

    The FFA is quickly slandered by supporter groups for involving themselves in such incidents, whereas I feel the FFA needs to be imposing themselves strongly as the supporter hierarchies are not standing up and taking responsibility.

    First thing first. Get rid of the flares.

    Yes, they add to atmosphere and create a great visual spectacle but no matter how much you try and justify them, they are not legal in Australian stadiums.

    While they continue to be encouraged and used amongst the supporter groups, flares are the very symbol that the media use to portray what they consider ‘football hooligism’.

    Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph page six article, titled as ‘Hooligan Horror’, is a perfect example, with a half page image of a flare being lit plastered across the page.

    Yet one just needs to visit the likes of the ‘passion is not a crime’ Facebook page, which is branded with images of flares throughout the timeline, almost as badges of honour.

    The page describes itself as being ‘dedicated to the community of passionate and active football fans across Australia’. However, I fail to understand how encouraging acts, which simply fuels the very medium they are trying to fight (the media), helps the game they profess to love?

    It simply provides the media more resources to generalise football fans as ‘hooligans’.

    Nothing will be achieved for the game with sheer ignorance of the media and its ways.

    Some of the recent protests have been centred around the ‘heavy-handed’ actions of police towards supporter groups. These protests seem almost farcical now, given the weekend’s events prior to and during the Sydney derby.

    Instead of protesting against the security and law enforcement, the supporter groups should be working more closely with them, the respective clubs and the FFA to ensure these minority individuals, who are causing the trouble, are stamped out.

    Once again, I fail to understand why defending the very individuals who are tarnishing not only the individual supporter groups but football as a whole helps the game they profess to love in any way.

    I’ve been a passionate football supporter my entire life. With a particular passion for the Serie A, it has been severely disappointing to see how the negative stories of crowd violence, racism and match fixing have tarnished the league internationally, with the quality of football often a distant oversight.

    This type of extremist fanatical behaviour which exists across Europe, South America and other leagues is not welcome in Australia and will never be accepted by the media or the general public.

    Passion is not a crime. But violence, verbal abuse, flares and anti-social behaviour are indeed crimes.

    It’s time to stop deflecting blame and take internal action.

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    The Crowd Says (202)

    • Roar Guru

      March 27th 2013 @ 4:54am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 4:54am | ! Report

      Nic Giannetta may I ask how many A-League matches have you attended and how often have you witnessed – I mean actually witnessed, not heard someone who was told by someone – anti-social behaviour when you’ve attended an A-League match?

      I’m a 7-year MVFC member, who has attended close to 100 A-League matches in Melbourne and have never seen 1 incident of crowd violence.

      And, allegedly, MVFC fans are one of the most anti-social groups in the whole of Australia.

      So, since I haven’t witnessed any anti-social behaviour and, therefore, cannot “take responsibility” for something I haven’t seen, I need your guidance.

      Since you have obviously witnessed appalling behaviour when you attend A-League, can you please list 5 things YOU think I should do when I attend the A-League Elimination Final on 5 April to “take responsbility”.

      PS: I get the feeling you haven’t attended a single A-League match, but I hope I’m wrong since that would make your outrage contrived and agenda-driven.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 6:44am
        mice said | March 27th 2013 @ 6:44am | ! Report

        Nice one Fuss. Because you have not seen 1 incidence of violence or any anti social behaviour there is non.
        I too have followed the A League from the start and have attended many games. I am always prepared to defend the game regarding claims of violent and antisocial behaviour but I am not blind to what is happening and has the potential to become out of hand.
        I was at the Melbourne derby where seats were thrown on to the ground. I didn’t see it happen because I was leaving the ground at the time but I don’t deny it happened.
        At the last Melbourne Heart game v Western Sydney a spectator was king hit. Is that not an act of violence. At the same game the Melbourne Heart so called active supporters took it upon themselves to to move as a group to within one bay of the WSW supporters. That was a very provocative act and for many of the supporters in the vicinity intimidating and judging by the number of supporters some with small children fleeing from that area, downright scary.
        Now if we are going to deny that these incident occur or have the potential to get out of hand then we will have a real problem.
        I agree that the “active supporters’ bring colour and noise to the game but I am offended by the notion that their support is in any way more important to the game than mine.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 7:59am
        Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:59am | ! Report

        But Fuss. I saw it on TV and we all know how TV never distorts the truth. I’m specifically thinking of the footage of the person being arrested at Sydney’s recent Mardi Gras celebration. The first images painted a rather damning image of supposed police brutality; it wasn’t until you saw the actual lead up to the arrest that you could see the ‘victim’ kicking out and ‘wailing’ on the cop who was trying to arrest him.

        So 2GB has footage of Sockah fans marching together in a large formed body and chanting as one(So what?) …sounds just like Tahrir Square or downtown Damascus – better run and hide, the evil forriners are coming to get us! You can hear the male, pale and stale types cringing at the thought that Sockah is making forward progress. The anti-Sockah bandwagon always gets fired up when it appears that the world game has had a good run of positive news.

        PS:I am 100% against the use of pyrotechnics by the way. They have been demonised for the past 30 years and there is no way they can be un-demonised. Certainly not by just taking a: ‘I’m going to do it anyway and you don’t understand us’ position. I sing I chant. I don’t rip flares and I’ll shop anybody near me that does.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm
          Tahhed said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

          “You can hear the male, pale and stale types cringing at the thought that Sockah is making forward progress.”
          Are you talking about English soccer fans? Because among them there are some male, pale, and stale thugs right there.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 1:33pm
            Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Tahhed re: thinly veiled racism:
            Do I need to refer you to the comments section of your nearest News Ltd online newspaper comments section for the reactions these beat-ups create? All of which continues to perpetuate the stereotype that Sokkah is a foreign sport for foreigners and those unwilling to ‘assimilate into Strayan kulcha’ 🙁

            • March 27th 2013 @ 2:20pm
              Tahhed said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

              Well I imagine there would be a bit of that in News Limited (such an appropriately named enterprise) section, but then people who read News Ltd papers are often very much on the lower end of culture and education (which explains their inability to pronounce “Australia”)

              Personally, I don’t consider soccer any more foreign than I do Rugby (being that they are both English sports). But for me soccer is quintessentially English, whilst Rugby is less so thanks to the constant pressure from the Southern Hemisphere nations to reform the rules. Rugby today is more a creature of the South in terms of its rules; if the English had had their way tries would still only result in a “try at goal” and not have any value in themselves and the game would basically be one huge scrum.

              This hasn’t really happened with soccer in my view, and the game, like the British, remains oppressive, negative and always seems to have a volatile ugliness that bubbles beneath the surface of its otherwise proper and polite veneer of low contact and non-aggression.

              Now, the poms did establish Western culture in this place, but I like to think we’re generally a little less thuggish in how we go about supporting our football than they are – because the poms really are the pits – but some of those louts over at WSW seem to be trying to prove that wrong. I’ve never been called racist for having a go at England, but hey, I guess the times are a changing.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:59pm
                Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                Or it could just be that you so want to believe that Sokkah is the root of the problem so you seek stories confirming and reinforcing your biased(and complete BS from my viewpoint) opinion? With all the problems in Australian Rugby(going backwards/flatlining as it is since 2003), we should feel honoured that you deign to spend time helping to solve our problems, the game of Yawnion would obviously benefit from an intellect such as yours were you to stoop to helping them out instead of us.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 3:11pm
                Tahhed said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                I don’t “want” to believe anything. I simply am trying to provide reasons as to why soccer seems to have such a problem with violence compared with other football codes. Heck American Football is insanely popular (easily the most popular sport in the English speaking world in fact – on a population basis at least), but it seems to have a much more modest tally of violence amongst its fans when compared with soccer – and European soccer in particular.

                I understand that this all seems very personal to you (it always does to a fanatic of any creed – a simple byproduct of investing too much of your identity in an abstract set of rules and ideas), but it’s really not.

                For the record, Rugby has a plethora of problems in this country, key among them being the continued and misguided in focus on pampered private schools and a lack of vision amongst the game’s administrators. Indeed, I have a raft of problems with the game more generally as well, but among the football codes out there it still remains my preferred game for a variety of reasons – one being that Rugby fans tend to be the most hospitable in my experience.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 3:20pm
                Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

                I am not a fanatic, I was actually thinking you were for your fervent reaching that the game of football itself rather then a few bad eggs is the problem here. In fact I want nothing more than for football to be treated by the media in this country as any other sport would be. Nothing special just equality in reporting. Not glossing over negatives, but not blowing them up to be WW3 either. One punch caught on camera is ’media evidence’ that the ‘whole’ sport is to blame. Tosh!!

                ALL sports have their bad apple supporters and the arrest statistics in this country do not back up your claim that Soccer fans are worse or more violent than fans of other codes. You are just interested in peddling out of date stereotypes to put down a game you plainly do not intend to ever give a fair shake.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 3:30pm
                Tahhed said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

                I understand the feeling regarding the media, but I personally don’t see that (though I never read News Ltd – hate them with a passion) and don’t watch any news outside of ABC, SBS, BBC and PBS (with a bit of comedy central John Stewart, Bill Maher and Steven Colbert thrown in for good measure). With that in mind, can I point out that the English press cover fan violence with equal rigor in spite of their interests often being quite heavily tied up in the game.

                As for the statistics, which ones are you citing? Always happy to be wrong if I actually am.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 9:08am
        B.A Sports said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        My God…

        I get football is your passion Fussball… but stop saying it doesn’t happen, it does! And infact, as was shown by the video footage the other night, you don’t even have to attend an A-League match to be subject to idiotic behaviour by A-League “fans”!

        Its an excellent article. Good job (expect the spiderman reference). If you don’t want to take responsibility for the actions of your own, then you pay the consequences.

        Flares have to go. Look what happened to the girl at the Soundwave concert back in Feburary. They can cause injuries and worse.

        And if this is the sort of behaviour that comes in rivalry matches between Sydeny FC and WSW now, when WSW are less than 12 months old, what will happen in 6 or 7 years if action isn’t taken to weed out this behaviour. If you want to live in a city which has to go into lockdown when certain teams and their rogue supporters come to your town, like is the case in parts of Europe, then go live in Europe.

        And Fussball. I’ve been to A-League matches. I have sat in the outer, and I have held a media pass, so i have been to plenty of matches, and I won’t be going to a match any time soon.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:13am
          Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Ahh once again a sheeple falls for a media-fed line of B/S. The ‘incident’ at Soundwave was later shown to not have occurred in the manner portrayed by the media..ie “girl horribly disfigured by thrown flare!” .Titled ‘Girl With A Pug’, the author – whose identity could not be confirmed at this time – wrote that her injuries have been exaggerated and that the injury occurred when the flare landed on her shoulder. She says it was not a result of melted plastic. She finished with: “I AM NOT DISFIGURED. IT WAS MY SHOULDER. NOT MY FOREARM. IT WAS NOT MELTED PLASTIC. IT WAS THE FLARE ITSELF.”
          http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/girl-burnt-by-soundwave-flare-speaks-up-i-am-not-disfigured/

          Jog on all of you mock outraged non-football fans, your opinions never have and never will matter. Football is on the up. deal with it. Welcome to 2013. You will never give the game a fair go and you are not worthy of our time and effort to respond to your trolling posts with reasoned and thoughtful comebacks.

        • Roar Guru

          March 27th 2013 @ 10:20am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:20am | ! Report

          @ B.A Sports

          So, you’re a member of the media & you don’t like ALeague crowds … BIG SURPRISE!

          Just because you say “it happens” is not evidence that something happened.

          Some good folk in the Scottish Highlands have said that a monster resides in Loch Ness; George W Bush is still looking for WMDs in Iraq & a bloke said he sent a cheque to me 20 years ago but I’m still waiting.

          Have i seen flares lit at MVFC matches – absolutely. Did I get scared – absolutely NOT. Did the kids around me get scared – absolutely NOT; in fact, kids under the age of 10 tend to enjoy the flares & active support more than the actual game.

          “Flares have to go. Look what happened to the girl at the Soundwave concert back in Feburary.” …

          What actually happened was the ambulance officers at the concert said they had no reports of any such injury; the hospitals in the area reported no one presented with any such injury, & the girl, who allegedly was disfigured by the flare, said she got a minor abrasion.

          But, you’re a journalist, so I doubt you would have checked the details from that story – much better to go with a sensational headline that distorts the facts. Hope you aren’t involved in print media, B.A. Sports … or at least you may want to polish your résumé.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 10:53am
            B.A Sports said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            Ok
            Never said i was a journalist – so good analysis there. People hold media passes for lots of different reasons, camera man, runners, statisticians, commentators etc…

            The kids enjoyed the flares – what a suprise! Kids enjoy fireworks on the harbour at New Years – why not let them rig the fireworks up themselves. If there was a later edit to that story, no problem, but please don’t tell me that letting members of the public set of flares in crowded situations is safe, its quite obviously not.

            As for “Just because you say “it happens” is not evidence that something happened.”. You are 100% right. The EVIDENCE isn’t what I say it is the unedited video footage taken by a member of the public as fans hurl abuse at a guy sitting in a restaurant.. It is the guy caught on camera walking up and cracking a bloke in the back of the head – mind you if the guy had actually been watching the game, maybe that doesn’t happen as well…

            I went to A-League games long after I stopped attending games with media accreditation. But until football take some more responsibility, I won’t be going back – which should make both of us happy I suspect.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 11:07am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:07am | ! Report

              1. in relation to the incident with WSW fans outside the Church St restaurant, the end to the story was … WSW fans dished out their own justice & then a group of WSW fans bought a round of drinks for the SydFC fan & those at his table … bet you didn’t know that?

              2. In relation to the incident at AAMI Park, the guy who threw the punch was handed by WSW fans to security. Then, it gets interesting … Security say they evicted the attacker BUT didn’t take his details! And, VicPol say they had no report of any incident.

              Is it possible that the security firm knew the attacker – perhaps, he’s an employee or associate – and they wanted him to create a brawl in the stands, but WSW fans did the right thing?

              Why would security not report an assault to VicPol (who are standing there at the ground, no need to Dial 000), or take the details of any person who punches someone? How would they ban this guy in the future?

              Interesting to note, this guy has still not been identified & the story has died.

              PS: Yes, I’m delighted if you don’t attend ALeague; I’d rather sit in empty stands with a handful of True Believers than put up with filled stadiums full of whingers, who refuse to understand & accept the culture of our Game.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 11:13am
                nordster said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

                False Flag king hits? It did look very odd how it happened…makes u wonder with a counter terrorism orientated security agency what sort of tactics they would stretch to. Have had the same thoughts re flare Throwers. Hatamoto, tabloid media and the police state, hyping the hooligan threat? Good for ratings and funding for new shiny enforcement toys i guess! 🙂

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:24pm
                Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

                Hatamoto are the ultimate make-work committee.

                If there was nothing but blue rinse grannies at football games as in your average Adelaide Crows crowd, they’d be out of a job, so it makes sense that they gradually lower the bar of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ to generate something to do and report to their masters.

                The Weslo goons at AU games are terrible. Sometimes I think they’ve all just watched Green Street Hooligans before reporting for work at Hindmarsh. If there aren’t any issues, often their heavy handed approach to dealing with crowds of people causes tensions to rise.
                Still, this blatantly inflamatory article has achieved its aim, well over 100 posts including a few of my old favourites..Sokkah is boring and ‘that’ is why their fans riot:( *groan*

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 11:02am
            SportsFanGC said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report

            Fuss are you serious??

            Amazing that any time anyone ever questions anything to do with the A-League you jump straight down their throat. I see your number one cheer leader Kasey is right their with you blaming everyone and everything except the people involved.

            Just because you have been to a lot of A-League games DOES NOT make you some sort of authority that people need to provide answers to when they have an opinion on issues that affect the game.

            The author has written an absolutely appropriate article about a MINORITY of idiots who parade around as soccer fans and do nothing other then damage the image of both their Club and the A-League. The sooner these people are stamped out from the game the sooner the media story will stay on topic about the game and the great active support clubs in the A-League are building.

            Just because you haven’t seen any violence or anti-social behaviour at the million A-League games you have attended does not mean that it doesn’t happen. That is something that a 5 year old would say! And if anyone tries to use that argument against you they would be mauled by you for being ridiculous.

            The author does not have to provide you with anything let alone 5 ways you can take responsibility when you next attend an MVFC match.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              @SFN

              How does one “take action” or “take responsibility” against anti-social behaviour, when one doesn’t observe anti-social behaviour?

              Do you suggest a GWB-style of pre-emptive strikes?

              Maybe some racial profiling – look for ethnics & lock them up? Or, look for people having too much fun & lock them up?

              As Pink (the one created by Roger Waters, not the androgyne who masquerades as a musician) observed 34 years ago:

              “Who let all of this riff-raff into the room?
              There’s one smoking a joint!
              And another with spots!
              If I had my way,
              I’d have all of you shot”

              Remember …

              “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” …

              …has baffled philosophers well beyond the intellectual giants on this forum!

      • March 27th 2013 @ 9:32am
        c said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        fuss i believe that nic does like italian soccer (football)

        • Roar Guru

          March 27th 2013 @ 10:25am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          If Nic is a fan of the Italian Game, maybe he can provide insights into how the Italians have managed “to take responsibility” for crowds at football matches.

          I mean, there are never any issues with football crowds in Italy! 😉

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 1:56pm
        NUFCMVFC said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

        Frankly I agree with Fuss

        We have isolated incidents of stupidtiy which are portrayed and hyped up as if the games are mayhem, when in reality they are for the most part peacful affairs

        Just because the occasional incident occurs does not mean the matches and league is rife with violence which is the impression some people are trying to create

        So some people in the street act daft and one person stupidly throw a glass at another? How does that justify heavy bannings for people who weren’t there or de-legitimise their protests against a lack of due process or capacity to appeal the FFA banning process

        IF there is a similar brawl in other sports it does not get reported the same way

        Some people act daft, but frankly people are right to criticise the FFA because in all these years they have not learned anything about how to try to deal with the problem effectively, they allow the media to dictate their response, they are reactionary and now we have a situation where erstwhile committed fans are banned for excessive timeframes for ludicrously small infringements

        Frankly, it is a mix of fans, police, security and FFA in conjunction with eachother that leads to effective solutions, but people keep simplistically blaming all fans as a collective when one person does the wrong thing

      • March 27th 2013 @ 4:43pm
        Daniel MV said | March 27th 2013 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

        The footage from last weekend was a disgrace.
        There is no denying a problem exists. IF there was no security, can you only imagine how violent crowds would be?
        Those lowlife scum should be banned for life.

    • Roar Guru

      March 27th 2013 @ 6:43am
      Cappuccino said | March 27th 2013 @ 6:43am | ! Report

      Totally agree that flares have to stop. Self regulation by fan groups is the key.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 7:12am
      eagleJack said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Fuss, what a childish response. It reminds me of the kids game that if I am to close my eyes, because I cannot see you, therefore you aren’t there.

      I am not a football fan. But I do enjoy the game occasionally. As a member of the SFS I have attended a number of SFC games in the past. I love the atmosphere the Cove provide. It adds to the spectacle. I, too, have never seen any crowd violence. But I am acutely aware that it exists. The footage shown of the Wanderers fans from the other day was quite scary. It was very lucky it didn’t escalate. The people dining at he restaurant would have been petrified. That is not what Australian sport is about.

      Nice article Nic. It is time for A-League supporters to bandy together and make a stand that such behaviour will not be tolerated. Enjoy the game for what it is, a competition that is going from strength to strength on the field. Don’t let it down off the field. And definitely ban the flares.

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 10:26am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:26am | ! Report

        “I am not a football fan. ”

        And, I stopped reading after that sentence.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:31am
          eagleJack said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          Well then you missed out on reading probably one of the greatest posts the Roar has ever seen. Your loss 🙂

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:52am
          Nick from Sydney said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          Fuss,
          Agreed here. The people who have the main “issue” with football fans in Australia are either fans of other codes or people who do not follow the game or have any interest in it. It is the common theme here. E.G Ray Hadley who released the footage via 2GB and carried on like an idiot is pretty much employed by the NRL.

          Although the reaction of the handful of WSW fans was not good at all, would you in an opposition jersey start egging on 2000 fans walking past you marching to a game? A bit of common sense too.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:57am
          Knoxy said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          Oh for gods sake grow the hell up Fussball. And to think soccer fans are always going on about how bad the AFL trolls are. The vast majority of A-League fans are well behaved and the active supporter groups are fantastic. But there are a small minority of troublemakers that tarnish the games image and they need to be dealt with. This would be easier if the supporter groups cooperate more with the authorities. That’s all the article is saying. Passion is not a crime, but lighting flares and trashing seats is. Why is that so hard to understand?

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:37pm
            Keyless sky blues fan said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

            Well how come no one is questioning why the police had more than 160 officers and a helicopter, and not a single one was present for a 5000 member march straight through the middle of the city? Why weren’t we the SFC fans held back 15 minutes as is standard procedure world wide? The police organisation was just as stupid as the 3 troublemakers.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 1:33pm
              Knoxy said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

              No doubt the police could do a better job handling the crowds at A-League matches. Which is why the active supporter groups and the FFA need to cooperate fully with the authorities to help implement strategies to weed out the troublemakers.

            • March 28th 2013 @ 1:05pm
              Nick from Sydney said | March 28th 2013 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              I saw the Police in Parammata park personally, videoing all the fans chanting and the Police enjoyed it themselves applauding and laughing through the process.

              What people must learn is that the scene at Restaurant was an isolated incident involving a handful of idiots within a large crowd having a great safe time.

              This is all a knee jerk reaction to the video.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 7:14am
      Australian Rules said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      Good article Nic.

      I think you summed it up perfectly with: “Passion is not a crime. But violence, verbal abuse, flares and anti-social behaviour are.”

      No-one wants to see a group of fans unfairly tainted by the idiocy of kids… but the footage outside that Parra cafe were not scenes of some contrived “passion”, they were scenes of public intimidation & violence, carried out by immature tools feeling tough in a crowd. Truly pathetic stuff.

      Of course, you’ll be knocked for this article (I see Fuss has already dived in with his cynical yet ironic post) but to the fair-minded yet indeed passionate sports fan, flares, property damage and public aggression will *never* be acceptable…and it’s up to soccer fans, as custodians of the game in Australia, to protect that standard.

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 9:07am
        langou said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        Fuss and his avid followers will come out strong today I imagine

        100+ coments

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 9:35am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        So, Australian Rules

        Give me the list of 5 things – tangible, practical things – that I, as an MVFC fan, should do “to take responsibility” when I attend the A-League Elimination Final on 5 April at Docklands.

        Let’s see if you actually have practical solutions, or just a blind & hatred-driven agenda.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:34am
          Australian Rules said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          I’ll start with 3 easy ones for you:

          1 – stop the denial. There is footage, photos and first-hand accounts of bad behaviour from a minority of supporters – it’s not a media-driven myth).

          2 – stop bullying & belittling those those who *do* love the game and *want* to improve the sport for everyone…such as the author above.

          3 – report bad behviour when you see it (I know this one is tough because it has never happened…ever).

          Of course, you can ignore all that and just bunker down on a war-footing…as per your comment below:
          “As and A-League fan, I simply DO NOT CARE what any non-Football fan thinks of: my Game, my League, my fellow football brethren – locally or abroad.”

          That’s the spirit…I’m sure the game will thrive on that attitude.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:28pm
            Tahhed said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

            Yes, and he loves telling us all just how much he doesn’t care every chance he gets. You can just feel it to, with the way he responds to all these posts and reads these articles. Clearly, the man has no time for those who aren’t members of his church.

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 1:02pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            1. Why does VicPol take no action at the stadium. We have mounted police, members dressed in overalls – primed for action, undercover officers mingling with the active support

            2. That doesn’t make sense. How will my NOT posting on this forum impact any alleged, or actual, anti-social behaviour on 5 April when I go to watch MVFC at Docklands?

            3. If I don’t see bad behaviour, how can it be reported? There are ground staff members present in every section at MVFC matches.

            Three nonsensical pieces of action – much appreciated.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 2:47pm
              micka said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              1 – Because they are accused of being heavy handed if they do ANYTHING…

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 4:02pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                Nonsense. VicPol have never been gun shy – literally & figuratively.

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 6:06pm
            apaway said | March 27th 2013 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

            AR

            I must have walked past this same restaurant on my way to the game on Saturday night. I saw nothing. I have not seen the video footage of the incident. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe it existed but on an amazing night for football, the big story carried by the usual media suspects is not of the game itself.

            ABC Radio 702 carried a balanced story of Saturday’s game and the allegations of crowd violence.

        • Roar Guru

          March 27th 2013 @ 11:17am
          SportsFanGC said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:17am | ! Report

          Fuss why should anyone provide you with 5 things – tangible, practical things- to take responsibility?

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 11:28am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            @SportsFanMelb

            I have no time for people, who whinge about an issue – at work, in politics, in their personal life – & moan that “something needs to be done”, but they don’t have a Plan or some solutions.

            Such people are serial whingers – they are the fodder for Talk Back Radio. They moan & groan, but when asked “what should we do” … they fall silent.

            I’ve not seen any problems when I’ve attended 100 A-League matches, but others – who don’t attend any matches – have identified massive problems of social unrest.

            Those, who have seen the problems, have scolded us … “do something”; “take responsibility”.

            I would like some advice form these learned souls …

            … what would they like me to do on 5 April, when I attend an A-League Final?

            Maybe, I should I light a flare if I see any anti-social behaviour to attract the attention of VicPol? I did see a kid drop some litter on the ground once.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 11:57am
              SportsFanGC said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:57am | ! Report

              Fuss – agree re: people whinging, it is the easiest thing to do and in today’s society it is becoming more and more prevalent.

              However, surely you can figure out yourself what you can do to help rid the game of people who are not actually fans and not there to watch but are there to act like “d**kheads” and hide among a larger group of people.

              You can ignore the issue of stupid behaviour that attracts the media, you can attack people for not being “true believers”, you can state you don’t care about other people’s opinions (even though you do because you spend all day commenting to everyone that doesn’t follow your opinions) – it doesn’t solve any of the issues that a very very small minority of people continually ruin the image of their club and the league by their behaviour.

              Live in ignorance and attack anyone and everyone that doesn’t agree with you if you want.

              Lighting flares, breaking chairs and king hits in the stands are not images the game wants associated with itself moving into the future.

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 12:09pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                @SFN

                I have repeatedly said .. I’ve never seen any anti-social behaviour at 100 A-league matches.

                Now, maybe, some will suggest I’m selectively looking away … will you also suggest VicPol members are also selectively looking away?

                Here’s the thing .. at the Melbourne Derby – when all those seats were damaged, guess how many people VicPol arrested in the stadium

                ZERO .. repeat ZERO arrests at a match that was depicted like an Al-Quaeda attack by mainstream media.

                VicPol told Neil Mitchell on 3AW .. there was 1 arrest outside the stadium AFTER the match. Mitchell was very disappointed with this answer.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 12:27pm
              SportsFanGC said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              So Fuss you are saying because VicPol only made 1 arrest outside the stadium that it is ok to damage property at Etihad Stadium and further to this that the media should not have reported the damage? Doesn’t that say more about the incompetence about VicPol than anything else if they were only able to arrest one person?

              I will ask you a question – What other sports event held at Etihad stadium since construction was completed saw that type of damage caused by “fans”? (My guess is this has not happened at the stadium before) Maybe you can provide some evidence seeing as though you always demand this from everyone else.

              Are you seriously trying to condone that behaviour as “passion for the game”? Those people involved are morons – not soccer fans, but if you are happy for them to masquerade as soccer fans expect the media to report on their stupid behaviour.

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 1:59pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                “Etihad stadium since construction was completed saw that type of damage caused by “fans””

                After the New Year’s Eve concerts, broken glass & hypodermic syringes were found on the pitch at Docklands (although we don’t know if the syringes were left by AFL players?)

                So, you’re suggesting SOCKAH fans should step in if they see trouble, even though dozens of VicPol members, who are attuned to spotting trouble & who are equipped with lethal & non-lethal weapons, have seen nothing worthy of their attention?

                Yeah … right. I’ll leave law enforcement to those with a badge; not keyboard vigilantes.

            • Roar Guru

              March 27th 2013 @ 3:24pm
              SportsFanGC said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

              Fuss read my post again and have another go champ.

              1. Because only 1 arrest was made by VicPol this makes the property destruction ok?

              2. I should have clarified my question about damage done at Etihad to “SPORTS FANS”. Did you find another sporting event, held at Etihad Stadium (and all its various names since construction was completed) where that type of damage was done??

              3. Never suggested soccer fans get involved directly by acting like they are police. They can alert stadium management and the police when they see clear and blatant examples of behaviour such as ripping chairs out and lighting flares. They are criminal acts – not acts of passion for the game no matter how much you defend them as part of “culture of our game”.

              But then again when you look at everything through rose tinted glasses with a massive bias of course you don’t see anything?

              P.S any reason you continually use the term “SOCKAH” when you are trying to make a point?

        • March 27th 2013 @ 11:33am
          micka said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

          1 – IF a flare is lit, get footage of it on your phone and report it to security and later submit the footage to police
          2 – Try as hard as you can not to stand on the furniture… I would hope you don’t do it in your own home and there is plenty of load bearing concrete where your feet are meant to go.
          3 – IF you see any acts of violence or agression report them immediately to security and record them on your phone as evidence.
          4 – Share a joke and a yarn with an opposition supporter before, during or after the game. Heck, I even give you permission to bag out the AFL with them. As you leave, if you see a security bloke or police, tell them to “have a good one”.
          5 – Lead the younger active supporters by example and if they start acting like morons, let them know that they are making the rest of you real fans look bad and are damaging the health of the game.

          Not that hard Fuss.

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 11:51am
            Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

            1. I got a photo of a flare lit on Hoddle Street during the MVFC march from the Cricketers’ Arms to AAMI Park. VicPol members were walking next to me – shook their heads & smiled. No one was injured. No property was damaged.

            2. When travelling by train, people put their feet on the seats – no one does anything. Maybe, they’re all SOCKAH fans on the trains? People stand on the seats at concerts at Docklands, Rod Laver .. maybe, they are all SOCKAH fans, too?

            3. Refer to my posts – never seen a single act of violence before, during, after A-League matches. Although, I must confess … I did hurl a plastic cup & use profane language when watching AUSvOMA last night in my lounge room. Not sure if it was captured on camera.

            4. Do it all the time. Did it with Italian fans on the train to Kaiserslautern & shook their hands and accepted their apologies on the way back from Kaiserslautern; had a beer with AUFC fans before the 2009 Grand Final. Some of my best mates are/were VicPol members.

            5. I’m not part of active support – after 30 years playing football, my knees find it hard enough to walk up stairs .. let alone do the pogo.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 1:05pm
              John Hunt said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

              I thought you said you had never seen bad behaviour?

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 1:12pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

                Like the VicPol members, who were walking next to me, I don’t consider lighting a flare to be “bad behaviour”.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 5:05pm
                micka said | March 27th 2013 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

                I personally don’t consider smoking a joint bad behaviour…

                Luckily it is not up to us what is actually ILLEGAL then is it Fuss?

                Those cops were probably grinning at the blatant stupidity they were seeing rather than approving of it.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 2:45pm
              micka said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              1 – The cops weren’t doing their jobs. If someone had been injured and they were known to have allowed it to happen they would have been heavily culpable. I put it to you that you have put a bit of mayo on that story.

              2- … Other people do it so I can too… Thats intelligent and mature.

              3 – I said IF. I’ve never seen an act of violence at the AFL. However if I did I would report it to the cops… that is they weren’t smiling along with me.

              4 – Good.

              5 – I’m not a Carlton cheer squad member but if I see an over enthusiastic supporter getting lippy I tell them to pull their heads in.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:49pm
                Australian Rules said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                micka, the warped logic that zero arrests = zero problems (with respect to the smashed chairs) ignores the fact that cowards hide in crowds.

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 3:06pm
                Fussball ist unser leben said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

                “I’m not a Carlton cheer squad member but if I see an over enthusiastic supporter getting lippy I tell them to pull their heads in.”

                So, you want us to believe you’re some sort of vigilante hero, capable of enforcing law & order when confronted by drunken mobs.

                Tell me, do you wear a cape & mask? Or, do you at least go into a phone booth before you scold the Carlton Cheer Squad?

                PS: I’ve observed racism, drunken aggression &/or assaults before, during or after every single AFL/VFL match I’ve attended; same at every day of the Spring Racing Carnival when I was a VRC Member (it’s part of the reason I cancelled my Membership).

              • March 27th 2013 @ 3:29pm
                micka said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                “So, you want us to believe you’re some sort of vigilante hero, capable of enforcing law & order when confronted by drunken mobs.”

                No just that I have the guts and integrity to stand up to people patently doing the wrong thing. I also have the pride in my club to curtail d***head behaviour by fringe dwelling numbskulls. I am objectively a better supporter than you.

                “PS: I’ve observed racism, drunken aggression &/or assaults before, during or after every single AFL/VFL match I’ve attended; same at every day of the Spring Racing Carnival when I was a VRC Member (it’s part of the reason I cancelled my Membership).”

                Well I haven’t seen this so it doesn’t happen… That’s what you say when you attend A league games and NEVER see anything even remotely untoward happen, yeah?
                We both know you aren’t telling the truth Fuss. I too have heard racism and verbal abuse at AFL VFL games and I am one of the people to tell these backward chumps that their kind of crap isn’t welcome.
                Just because you don’t have the honesty and integrity to admit a fault when it is painfully obvious and help stamp it out doesn’t mean that other positive supporters of clubs and codes can’t.

                Try leading instead of being an unquestioning fanboy for a change.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 8:26am
      Pauly said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      They say you’re most vulnerable to conceding a goal after you’ve scored one.

      It seems every time the HAL achieves a new milestone, there’s a setback.

      Record crowd – bad behaviour by fans.
      Good atmosphere – flare lighting.
      New team takes the competition by storm – fans gain a bad reputation.

      When are supporters going to wake up to themselves? Do they want to go back to the situation 10 years ago when the domestic league was dying and constantly parodied by the media and general public?

    • March 27th 2013 @ 9:03am
      Tigranes said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      “The first being the supposed Melbourne Heart fan king-hitting a Wanderers supporter”

      Its not like Melbourne Heart have that many supporters anyway so it shouldnt be too hard to find this bloke…but this cant help the Heart’s survival

      • Roar Guru

        March 27th 2013 @ 9:06am
        langou said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

        The problem is both Heart fans have denied it.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 9:40am
          Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:40am | ! Report

          Hey, don’t be ripping on the world famous GSE* like that;) Show some respect!

          *Green Seat Elite.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 9:23am
        Kasey said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Tigranes,

        That’s the type of leap we football fans love from fans of other sports.… a ‘riot’ at a game (OMG 1 flare and some chanting!) and the whole legitimacy of the sport to exist is called into question.
        One idiot gets a skinful and throws a punch and you’re suggesting that MHT might go to the wall over it? Jog on. You must have been a riot at law School.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 11:01am
          Tigranes said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          Kasey

          I was referring to the fact that Heart seem to draw pretty low crowds in comparison with other sides – its not like they can afford to have supporters banned from the game.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 11:46am
            mice said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            Tigranes
            I agree, and neither can Melbourne Heart afford to loose any sponsors because a few idiots tarnish the reputation of the club.

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