Following on from the game yesterday we thought it was right to reach out to supporters.
Supporters have spoken out over numerous platforms since the build up to the season advising why they support asking for the owner to leave but cannot support the home boycott that we announced back in June. Fans having not been able to step foot in grounds for near on 18 months has been difficult and becoming an armchair supporter was not something fans were wanting to continue! So attending home games at our beloved Boundary Park for a number of supporters has been too much and something they couldn’t pass up on.
We respect everyone’s opinion on whether you attend games or not as every supporters personal circumstance is different. At the time when we announced the boycott very little push back was received from supporters but when the real test of questioning your loyalty to the club by attending games or not, it becomes real and very hard to separate.
We doubt that attendances will remain as they were yesterday, given the starvation of football for fans in recent times we expected an inflated attendance and the first game of the season always draws a larger crowd. The acid test will most certainly be in the forthcoming games and that is what we will treat as a barometer for the mood of supporters.
Having seen the government guidance around attendances and the lifting of restrictions we were desperately hoping that all restrictions would be lifted which is why the call for an away day only and boycotting home games was announced, however this morning we have received a call from West Yorkshire Police to advise us that the Bradford game has been made all ticket on Covid grounds along with a lowly allocation of 1,000 fans. This is obviously very disappointing considering this is going against government guidelines but appreciate the seriousness of what Covid has done to the country over the last 18 months. Given this is unlikely to be the last ground with restrictions we feel this leaves us in a difficult position and one that we have to react to. After taking fan concerns on board we therefore feel we are left in the difficult position of putting the boycott on hold until we can be given more certainty around availability of pay on the day in away stadiums. To run with this when it won’t get maximum impact, would dilute its intention. By taking the decision to postpone the boycott, it leaves the door open for when more certain times arrive, but to call this off completely, it then becomes an irreversible decision for what is an unforeseen circumstance.
As you can imagine this has not been an easy decision to make but your opinion as a supporter counts. We have listened to your thoughts and opinions on the matter and believe in the short term, until things return to “normal”, this is the right thing to do. Should this situation change, you will obviously be the first to know.
As a supporter of the club, we want you to assess and decide whether you want to attend home and/or away games. As a group, we have taken a collective decision not to fund the current regime, and any fan that current takes this stance, or chooses to take this stance in future has our full support. We spoke about whether it’s appropriate to encourage fans to attend away games if tickets had to be bought in advance (and therefore the club getting a small % of this income). We felt by encouraging this, it’s a half measure and could send mixed messages.
We made it clear when we announced our plans to attend pay on the gate away days only, that it would be one of many steps take to put pressure on the current owners. That remains true and these plans will have to be implemented sooner than we originally intended, but alas, taking on a project like PTB, and given the events of the last 18 months we have learnt that it’s often a bumpy and unpredictable road that we have to be adapt to.
We will continue to push the club towards engagement and a change in their behaviour towards supporters while the current owners remain. We want change, we NEED change and we will continue to strive for this however we can.
Ultimately, we are 4 fans that want the best for the long term future of the club and it’s amazing fans, and we want to be driven by your opinions and want your voices to be heard loud and clear. This isn’t the first hurdle we have faced and we are certain it won’t be the last. We have therefore decided to react as quickly as possible and we will be setting up another focus group of supporters so we can reach a decision over next steps. If you’d like to form part of this, let us know and we will set something up as soon as possible.
As always, if you have any other suggestions then we are always open to hearing them.
Reclaim The Faith