I never thought it would be possible to wake up the morning after a 7-0 win and feel more depressed than the losing Chairman. Sadly, given the senseless act of one individual in letting off a smoke bomb towards the end of the match, the seemingly impossible has happened.
First and foremost, I would like to apologise to all our supporters for the incident which soured what had otherwise been an evening to savour. However, without wishing to detract in any way from my apology, I can categorically state, without fear of meaningful contradiction, that Stirling Albion (and indeed any club) is powerless to prevent such an occurrence. In other words, if someone is determined to let off an incendiary device within a football stadium, they will find the means to do so.
What we can do – and have done (or are in the processing of doing) – is ensure that our pre-match planning is exhaustive, our Safety Officer’s briefing of the stewards is comprehensive and clear, searches (random and targeted) are carried out diligently, the stewards’ vigilance is consistent throughout, incidents are handled effectively and efficiently and our follow-up is thorough and any resulting actions are timeously conducted.
Given that our internal investigation is ongoing, I don’t wish to go into further detail at this point in time but what I can say to the perpetrator is that once we have formal identification, the evidence (including CCTV footage) will be passed to Police Scotland for consideration of criminal proceedings.
I will not rest until this matter is satisfactorily concluded and I would urge anyone who has any information that they feel might be of assistance to contact the Club on 01786 450399. Any information given can be anonymous and in any event will be treated in the strictest confidence.
The perpetrator is not a fan / supporter of Stirling Albion, indeed, the strong indication is he was a first time “visitor” who came with one intention in mind and I would wish to assure our growing group of young supporters, who do themselves and Stirling Albion proud, that their enthusiasm and presence will always be welcome at Forthbank Stadium.
In closing, I repeat my long-standing and oft-repeated message – everyone at the Club is utterly committed to doing everything we can to provide a family-friendly environment in which to enjoy not just the match but being part of the Stirling Albion Family.