In recent seasons, for the best part of two years, the team received great vocal backing from a sizeable group of younger supporters who occupied the north end of the East Stand at McDiarmid Park.
The colourful displays and tifos put on, the enthusiasm shown, and the atmosphere created were a great credit to the people in that section and an ongoing dialogue between these fans and the Club ensured that everyone knew what was expected of them.
Sadly, a small minority of that group used the purpose of ‘supporting’ the Club at games away from Perth as an opportunity to display behaviours which were quite unacceptable to the Club and tarnished the good name of St Johnstone FC.
Despite efforts to manage those individuals, encourage self-policing within the group and stress to the wider active support the damage that those people were doing, ongoing disorder at some away games and on occasions around McDiarmid Park and elsewhere in the city meant that the Club could no longer justify the promotion of the group and took the decision to close the area of seating the active section had made their own.
Although it was subsequently reopened after a short period of time, the enthusiasm of many of the group who had suffered the loss of their section evaporated – perhaps understandably – and the atmosphere at the stadium suffered.
Ahead of the 2018/19 campaign Saints are looking to re-engage with the supporters who formed that group and any others who would like to help the re-creation of an active section at the north end of the East Stand.
Chairman Steve Brown says “The atmosphere created by the group at their peak was fantastic and undoubtedly assisted the team in some big matches. Even at run-of-the-mill domestic games their vocal backing lifted the whole stadium.
“However, as is often the case in life, the minority spoiled it for the many and some of the behaviour out with the stadium and at certain away games was simply unacceptable and it reached the stage where the Club simply could not be seen to condone this by leaving things unchanged at home games.
“However, with a new season on the horizon, we would like to recapture that East Stand atmosphere and would be keen to manage the re-creation of that particular section who want to give vocal backing to the team.”
The Club’s Supporter Liaison Officer Beverley Mayer says “I, along with other staff from the Club, had a good working relationship with many members of the previous group of active supporters and I am keen to get things back on track and manage a return to the sort of backing we previously enjoyed.
“I have already been speaking with our existing contacts from the group and would encourage anyone else interested in helping the Club with this to drop me an email to express their interest or to give me their thoughts on how this matter can be progressed.
“We want to encourage positive behaviours amongst the Saints support both home and away and we will give every assistance and encouragement to anyone wishing to help recreate an active support Saints and Perth can be proud of.”
Beverley can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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