Clitheroe Football Club’s Board and volunteers strive both to provide the highest level of football for its own supporters and to offer a fantastic match day experience for all supporters. The club is also particularly proud of the welcome it provides visiting clubs and sees it as a key priority that they are made to feel welcome. Being recognised as providing the best away experience out of the 160 Level 4 clubs in the country in 2022 shows we are on the right track. To ensure that these standards are maintained, the club posts ground rules around the stadium for everyone to see and to adhere to.
The Board was humbled by the enormous 1,100 crowd at the game yesterday and despite the result, the club’s hospitality was visibly enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of supporters. However, the shine was slightly taken off matters by the disappointing behaviour of a group of children and youths who congregate behind the Nursery End goal. After the first goal for our visitors, this group fell foul of the ground rules and were escorted out of the covered area. Two youths were ejected by the club’s volunteer stewards. This behaviour has been creeping in over the past year and will not be tolerated. In this specific instance, mobile phone video evidence is being gathered to see if further action is required.
It is clear that the only minor friction at games occurs when visiting fans move behind the Nursery End goal in time honoured tradition, but the children and youths do not change ends. It is a waste of time and energy for volunteer stewards and increasingly for paid security staff to moderate behaviour. Going forward, away fans will continue to be able to stand where they please on the ground. However, Clitheroe supporters will not be allowed to congregate…when there are a significant number of away fans in that area in order to avoid potential conflicts and ensure the safety of all present. This will be kept under review.
If this does not provide an immediate improvement in behaviour, the club will consider other sanctions to ensure that everyone can enjoy their time on match days at Shawbridge.