After incidents during the Ayr United game on Tuesday 3 July, the club has decided to review how we manage/police forthcoming fixtures which are of a high risk nature, or any travelling support intelligence on away support.
This is on the back of the behaviour of some of our fans within the North Stand and outside the ground during this fixture.
Two flares were set off during the game, one of which was thrown onto the field of play resulting in the game being halted. This flare almost hit the assistant referee. The culprit for this incident was identified and taken away by the police, minor damage was caused to two seats within this area.
Throughout the game the behaviour of some fans is not what we expect at Stair Park and on the back of this, and also our last game of the season against Raith Rovers where again there were minor disturbances, we feel we need to act before our club gets a bad reputation within Scottish football.
Extra security checks will now take place outside the ground on higher risk games and, when stewarding permits, this includes random body and bag checks. Any flares or blast bombs will be confiscated and the culprit handed over to the police who will be contacted.
Free entry to the ground will be for primary children only moving away from the under 12s, as has been advertised on some previous games.
Entry to the North Stand will be restricted to parent and child, adults and any supporter with disabilities. This will increase the size of the segregation area for the higher risk games so as not to have the incidents we have witnessed during recent matches. This will include upcoming fixtures against Motherwell, Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle to begin with and all others will be reviewed depending on the away support.
Safety is paramount to Stranraer Football Club and we have not taken these steps lightly. We as a club want to encourage all supporters to attend. However at the above fixture, many were not even interested in watching the game and to set off a flare in the middle of a crowd may have resulted in serious injuries to the people who were around this incident.
The club will do everything in their power to identify troublemakers and ban these supporters from Stair Park and possibly every ground in Scotland. Last week the attendance was around 250 and many fans witnessed trouble we have not seen for a long time.
There is nothing more beneficial to our team than a noisy North Stand full of home supporters, however a small number attending this fixture have spoiled it for those who wish to be in this area and create that atmosphere we all want.
Like everything, these measures may be reviewed however it is with regret that we have to take steps now to prevent our club being brought into disrepute and possible fines from the SPFL.
Stranraer FC Committee