The events off the pitch at following the match with Derby were every bit as telling as the action on it. SISA’s view is that last night’s events were the inevitable result of 3 years of misguided and self-serving policies that have seen our owners prioritise their non-football related business interests at the expense of the football club.
The demise of the team in terms of the quality of performance and entertainment value has coincided with a sequence of disastrous decisions that have seen BFC fall from the heights we saw under the guidance of Ian Holloway to the position where we now stare into the abyss that relegation to League One would bring.
These policies have been mirrored by increased levels of dissatisfaction amongst the fans and increasingly vociferous protests about the direction the club is heading.
Last night the disappointment and anger of the crowd resulted in actions that made it absolutely clear to our owners that to continue to ignore and mock the fans was no longer going to be accepted.
The question of how it has got to the point where a good number of one of the most reasonable sets of supporters in the country felt that they had no better option than to resort to direct action towards the owners of the club needs to be answered.
It is at this point, hopefully, that the chairman Karl Oyston seriously considers his own role in events. His willingness to openly mock the fans, and effectively their passion for the club, at every opportunity, betrays a complete disregard for his customers and an inability to understand their relationship to the club.
Further Karl’s continued unwillingness to engage with fans representatives in the form of SISA and to also attempt to mock and belittle their efforts has certainly not helped and has undoubtedly further damaged the relationship between the owners and the support. It is also to be noted that even the very few fans that he is willing to meet with appear to have barely any influence whatsoever upon him. His actions and words seem often to court controversy and confrontation. Allowing, indeed encouraging your most loyal customers to believe that not only do they have no say, but also that they have no value – must surely be one of the most self-defeating mistakes that an owner can make.
Things need to change and they need to change now. The fan base won’t be placated as they were last season by empty promises and cheap season tickets. There is a huge amount to do in order to address the issues that our owners have created and to stabilise the position we find ourselves in.
The starting point must be for both Owen and Karl to acknowledge the mistakes made , engage with the wider fan base and put in place a manifesto to ensure that whether we survive in The Championship this season or not they will stop treating BFC as their CASH COW and put FOOTBALL FIRST.
The SISA Committee