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Letter To St.Johnstone

Denis Gowans, Clyde’s Director of Stadium Operations, today sent the following letter to St.Johnstone FC regarding last Saturday’s stadium issues with the Clyde support. Thanks to everyone who contributed by sending their own letters to the club. As soon as a reply is received it will appear on the website.

Mr Geoff Brown
St Johnstone F.C.
McDiarmid Stadium
PH1 2SJ.

Dear Mr Brown,

It is with regret that I write to you as a consequence of events at our recent game with you on 18 January 2003.

I have been inundated with letters of complaint from our supporters relative to the way that they were treated at the game, which is clearly a matter of concern to ourselves and hopefully yourselves.

The main cause for complaint was that the taped off area was clearly inadequate to meet the needs of the travelling Clyde support and no steps were taken by either the Police or Stewards to increase this area immediately it became apparent that more space was needed to house the supporters comfortably.

Any attempts by our supporters to move outwith the taped area to sit together with friends and get a better, dry seat with a better viewing position was met with resistance by the stewards with little or no assistance from the Police. Indeed alleged replies from the Police that they “were employed on the day by St Johnstone and were there to assist with the stewarding decisions” beggars belief and is surely a case of the tail wagging the dog. It is little wonder that given these circumstances that a hostile environment ensued. Apart from the Police the main protagonist would appear to have been one steward in particular whose attitude is described as arrogant and unsympathetic, backed up by foul and abusive language, quite clearly not customer friendly as recommended in the directive from the SFA on stewarding.

Other areas of concern to our supporters were why were the Clyde support ‘penned in’ when the St Johnstone support were not, were paying £15 for a seat with restricted vision, a belief that there was not equality of pricing for both sets of supporters and that there was no separate parent and child gate for Clyde families amongst their own supporters.

Can I respectfully suggest in an attempt to prevent a reoccurrence of this situation,given that your stadium is capable of housing a 10,000 crowd, that consideration be given to housing the Clyde support in a properly segregated section in the stand opposite your main stand with sufficient space to meet needs with better viewing facilities, where our supporters would feel that they are getting better value for money. The comments in relation to the attitude and reaction of Police and Stewards are a matter for yourselves to resolve.

If something is not done to resolve these quite clearly felt areas of concern in the future then I am sure that many of our supporters will refrain from travelling to your stadium with obvious financial implications to yourselves.

In order to respond to our supporters I would appreciate an early reply to this letter.

Yours in Sport
Director of Stadium Operations