Sydney FC will continue to work with Western United, FFA and GMHBA Stadium security in their investigation of the fan evictions from Sunday’s match.
The club backed its fans in a statement released on Monday, with the Sky Blues describing the security’s actions as “over-zealous” in policing the 200 travelling fans.
CEO Danny Townsend believes it was an issue of “execution” and must be resolved quickly to avoid fans not travelling for games.
“To see many of [The Cove] miss large parts of the game because they were in discussions with security around behaviour was disappointing,” he told FNR.
“Unfortunately, whether or not that stadium management is new to football, which is pretty clear they are, I think there was some protocol missed.
“I think what’s important for Western United and the A-League is that this specific stadium has learn to deal with those situations in a more effective manner.
“The last thing we want to see as a league is travelling fans not wanting to go to a venue, [Western United] are having their challenges in the early days as a club attracting fans in the first place.
Mr Townsend says it’s important for Western United to “build relationships and trust” with the GMBHA security, which he believes could help in ensuring a more effective outcome in future.
“I’ve been talking to Greg O’Rourke and the guys at Western United about it and they’re definitely taking things seriously,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a lack of attention, it’s an execution issue and we’ve had it at our home ground over the years, Allianz Stadium has had its criticism of security there and takes a bit of hard work.
“It’s early days for them they have to work on it, they have to build relationships, they have to build trust and once that happens, you’ll see that maybe some of the things that occurred on Sunday will be different in the future.”
Sydney FC has ‘supporter marshals’ in The Cove, who are there to communicate with stadium security.
Mr Townsend believes there was miscommunication between these club officials and the GMHBA security which led to members of the travelling supporters being “mistreated.”
“We don’t condone anti-social behaviour or anyone breaking the law,” Mr Townsend said.
“We spend money sending supporter marshals and our staff to accompany our travelling fans to ensure that they’re treated the right way.
“If any of them are misbehaving then it’s up to us to tell them to pull their heads in and work with security to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”
Kardinia Park Trust CEO Gerard Griffin says the stadium’s officials worked with the Sydney FC club officials at the time, in a statement released on Monday.
“The Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, confirm there were a number of evictions for anti-social behaviour at yesterday’s A-League match at GMHBA Stadium,” Mr Griffin said.
“Stadium management worked with Sydney FC representatives, Victoria Police and MA Security throughout this process.
“The priority of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all fans and anti-social behaviour at any event held at the stadium will not be tolerated.”