As troubles of the pitch seem to being sorted and the future of Truro City FC carries on for generations, another incident has raised it's very ugly head. Some may agree but many others, like me totally disagree with actions taken by the club.
Last Saturday when the boys on the pitch were battling to gain a victory against AFC Hornchurch, a number of Truro City fans started creating an atmosphere like that of what we do best as fans. Now, we all know that us fans can be the 12th man. We have a vast array of chants to sing for the boys on the pitch. We all know also that this is replicated by the reactions of the players.
Those that wish to sing make their way to the covered stand opposite the bar. We all stand at the back in a huddle, so not to stand in front of those that do like to sit. One starts to chant with the others following. Who remembers last season at Welling, when we sang 'Lee Hodges...white and gold army' for 20 minutes? This was done standing. Normally, others that normally don't sing join in. It creates an atmosphere.
During happy and some very gloomy times over past seasons, we have stood in the stands, stamping feet, clapping hands and throwing our voices in a beautiful melody of footie songs. Although sometimes out of tune we have gained praise from all over England from those clubs that have been our opponents. Our reputation is amongst the best there is. Nothing big headed by that but we have earned that through our support. That's what we are about. So when we was approached by a club, and I mean club official being flanked by the new 'security' personnel to tell us to sit down or remove ourselves, how shocked we had become. Is this the same club official that had basically begged us fans to help in all ways possible to keep the club afloat when Heaney put us into administration? Is this the same club official that has watched and heard us do the same thing at home and away while they have been at the club? When questioned why we needed to sit down, we was told to do as was asked. Again, when questioned why we needed to sit down, the 'security' stated they were only doing as they were told. When the club official was asked, while most fans started to walk away from the stands back to the bar end, the club officials response was that it was for health and safety purposes. Give us a break. We ain't thick straw eating uneducated fans. What health and safety issue is there? Where's the stats to back that comment up? This killed the atmosphere for the rest of the game and many fans, some with 20 - 40 years of support behind them, questioning if they should return to the club they love if they can't support the club in the way they have and love doing. Is this the 'new' Truro City? One club that has no atmosphere. Do the club want people just to pay their money and be grateful with what they are watching with a polite 1940s side clap?
I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be asked at a non league game to sit down. On talking with others, and many who again feel disillusioned with the loyalty shown by 'club' officials to them now their jobs seem to be safe, are feeling pretty angry.
When the Football Licensing Authority was challenged by Football Supporters Federation to back up the so called statistics of standing being intrinsically unsafe they had to admit they couldn't be substantiated and withdrew the stats, quoting, ''the injury statistics we produce do not provide firm statistical evidence that standing is less safe than seating''. Mmm, interesting.
In 2002, Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council commissioned a report to look into what the council perceived as the unsafe practice of fans standing persistently at Old Trafford (with the council at that time threatening Man Utd with reductions in the grounds capacity). WS Atkins, global experts in structural design, found that jumping up from your seat to celebrate a goal (which of course is allowed) was more ''unsafe'' than simply standing throughout a match (which isn't allowed). The report stated....''risk of persistent standing can range from relatively low when people are standing passively to a medium level when movements such as leaning and chanting occur. Standing at moments of high excitement and during celebrations was found to be more unsafe''. Mmm, interesting again. Will celebrating a goal be banned at Treyew Road as well?
What's your thoughts on this subject people. I don't wish to go on and on but I firmly believe the club is at risk of losing support at home with those only wishing to attend away games and support the team how they wish to do without being told not to. I thought the old dictator had left the building?