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Welcome to Sydney FC, the club where rules are made up as the board pleases, your voices mean nada, and your rights are taken away from you. But hey you still have to cough up plenty of your hard-earned to watch the club you love.
I have never felt so empty walking out from a football match as I did leaving Allianz stadium on Saturday night. Never felt so disheartened, and angered because sport is sport, win or lose, you walk out with a sense of optimism looking to the game ahead.
Sydney FC are in crisis, both on and off the field. Never have I seen an institution so out of touch with reality, in the dealings with their football club, dealings with the players they bring in, and dealings with its supporters.
The FFA have a motto going round that “Fans power the game”, yet any time a fan tries to speak their mind, through a chant or a banner, they are ejected, abused by security and more often than not get their membership confiscated.
Great way to treat the people who make football what it is, because let me tell you FFA and the Sydney FC board, without us, without the vocal and active support, football is nothing.
And when you alienate your most loyal then it’s a very long road back to get them onside again.
On Saturday night I wasn’t sitting in the Cove, I was sitting with family on the halfway line, but I have many friends in the Cove, and the stories that came out were demoralizing.
The Cove’s Capo, one of the most loyal, passionate and giving supporters in the A-League, was thrown out of the stadium for holding a banner that stated his feelings towards Frank Farina.
A simple banner, that had nothing offensive, nothing inappropriate, just the supporters’ thoughts on their current coach, which mirrors the current situation the team are in.
This guy, our Capo, has given so much to the club, he has put in so many passionate hours and effort towards increasing the vocal and active support at home and away matches, his effort can never be matched by our board members, and this is the treatment he gets.
Sydney’s board members were quick to deny on social media they were responsible for the ejections.
Fans have every right to voice their opinions and any suggestion the club instructed signs be taken down or fans be evicted is wrong.
— Scott Barlow (@ScottBarlow10) February 8, 2014
It’s simple, these board members can’t take the heat and accept the criticism aimed at their workings.
When he was evicted, a mass exodus followed, Bay 23 was emptied – they relocated outside, and were chanting “we want Farina/Barlow/Pignata out” and were being dealt with heavy-handedly by security.
I followed their exodus, the atmosphere was just too toxic, I wasn’t prepared to sit through this dark, eerie atmosphere, when many supporters like me were being thrown out onto the street like dogs for simply voicing their opinion.
Something must change. Fans need to be respected, the supporters’ voices must be heard.
I do not condone the drink being thrown at Farina, that was just out of order, but the Sydney FC fans’ exodus following the ejections was rightly acceptable.
This may be the tipping point to see a change occur, because if not, there are many more dark nights to follow.
The issues with Sydney FC are mounting day by day, the central isue is the club has no structure. Week-in week-out the players go out and play with little to no creativity or intent, their is no vision, nothing to get excited about.
When one young lad gets thrown into the team, as soon as the team falter they are kicked to the curb.
Each new signing is for the present rather than the long term, there is a negative short-term mindset at the club and if this continues to be what the club’s all about, then success is going to be something us Sky Blue supporters won’t be tasting for a while.
The team have lost their last three matches at home, 10 in total this season. Each match the team goes out their and play like absolute pansies, more effort can be seen from the youth team.
It’s been a painful few seasons, but the supporters continue to back the players by showing up each week, travelling far and wide to away matches.
Their loyalty shouldn’t be in question because Saturday night’s walk out had nothing to do with what was happening on the pitch.
Football shouldn’t make you feel this empty or disheartened, this needs to change or Sydney FC will lose its true supporters forever.