From the March edition of The Albion magazine
It’s hard to sum up February in words – indeed some that I have in mind would inevitably get me into trouble. The shortest month started very promisingly with seven points from nine but ended incredibly disappointingly with one from nine.
The contrasts were clear to be seen; at one end of the spectrum the seven-goal rout of Montrose and at the other, the defeat to Clyde when I witnessed events that I can’t recall having to endure in well over 50 years of supporting the Binos. Hardly seems the right cliché to use but probably safest to march (pun intended) into a new month by saying ‘It’s a funny old game’.
I’ll leave further comment on the playing front to others far better qualified and turn instead to off-the-field matters, namely the inappropriate behaviour of a very small minority of fans attending matches at Forthbank. The detail of the recent incidents is well documented elsewhere (primarily on the club website) and is there for all to see, so I’ll concentrate on covering why I went public rather than remain silent as some clubs choose to do when faced with similar occurrences.
First and foremost, I am utterly determined to deliver on my promise of a family-friendly environment for everyone who attends matches at Forthbank and I strongly believe that highlighting behaviours that are unacceptable is the best way to get the message across that anyone who steps across the line of the acceptable into the unacceptable will be dealt with in the strongest, most appropriate manner possible and in any event will not be welcome visitors to Forthbank Stadium.
Secondly, SAFC is working very closely with Police Scotland, not just in respect of specific incidents but in general and it is important that, in order to maximise the benefit of this relationship for both parties, there is a high degree of openness. The only matters that are subject to complete confidentiality are in respect of specific incidents subject of ongoing Police Scotland investigation.
I do understand that some of our supporters take the view that there should be less of a spotlight on the club but I can assure those of such an opinion that my open approach does no ‘harm’ to how Stirling Albion is treated in respect of policing (or stewarding) at our games; indeed, arguably the opposite applies, in that our willingness to openly address incidents gleans their full support and we remain, as things stand, a police-free zone for our SPFL matches at Forthbank.
Nothing (or no one) will deflect me from continuing to take what I believe to be the appropriate steps to maintaining this position, which in turn will, I have no doubt, deliver the sought-after family-friendly environment.
Let’s hope that March provides the platform to concentrate on football. There’s 15 points up for grabs which would do for starters in reigniting our promotion prospects.