How much longer does the RBB keep at it before possibly ending up like the Melbourne Victory’s now ‘defunct’ North Terrace? Granted they were active for more than twelve years before overbearing police and security, club officials failing to come to agreements and understandings with the active group and hardships from the FFA had them eventually saying “fuck this” and left it behind.
They now attend games in a separate area of the stadium and join in on the occasional chant (that passion and pride dies hard and is much admired).
With each passing round and each passing week, I wonder how much longer the RBB has until it follows suit and for the record I hope the RBB never dies and revives to what it was when it took this league and support all over this country by storm and made everyone (even international observers), notice who we are and what we did.
It was the ‘it’ thing to be a part of. You couldn’t get an away ticket for a Sydney derby or a home match against the Melbourne Victory in the RBB; such was the demand to be a part of it. Come to think of it now some games spent in there are some of my best memories and experiences in my short twenty-nine years on this earth which I have shared with many of my fellow members, many who are no longer welcome to games for various reasons.
We (the RBB, but this applies to all fans in general), have only ever wanted to go to games and support our teams in our own way. Our chants and choreo, tifosi, jams, flags, banners and overall passion became synonymous with active support only to in recent years have it stripped bit by bit through various avenues.
Granted a fair few have been from our own doing in a way by using illegal items to bring out our own flair if you will, and I’m not arguing neither for nor against, but at some point we should be able to see where we have faulted. More recently we had a 12-month stadium ban for swearing issued to an RBB member and also if reports are to be trusted a supporter marshal was also banned for intervening and defusing the situation. Funny, I thought it was only the fans that were at risk.
What others should also be able to see if where they have faulted by not living up to their own ‘agreements’ and sweeping any remnants under the rug; that being the FFA in this scenario.
There were many meetings that were attended by active supporter group leaders, police, club officials and the FFA (to my recollection a few years ago, around 2014-2015). There were outlined procedures to be implemented such as appeals process to all fans who have been banned (to my knowledge only ONE has been overturned so far), and better understanding of how football fans behave during games (I think some police still struggle with this).
Years later and there have been no improvements on this. The FFA somehow manage to keep their position with multi-million dollar salaries, police are as heavy handed and aggressive as ever and fans are losing interest and appeal in the game and sport they have been putting hard earned money, time and effort into for over twelve years.
Seems that trying to get the ‘non-football’ crowd to ‘family friendly’ games (which A-League games already are, regardless of your interpretation of active support) is the priority and that goes along with dinosaurs like Ray Hadley who only ever open their mouths when an incident occurs. STOP GIVING A FUCK WHAT THIS BITTER OLD MAN SAYS.
The late Johnny Warren’s book ‘Sheila’s, Wog’s and Poofter’s’ echos what is continuously said about our game even fourty years later by the types who love to lay the smackdown on football when they have enough if not more issues with their own sport(s).
I started this by saying how the North Terrace are no longer through a battle with the big guns whom eventually won. We should keep fighting to regain what was once had and become the benchmark of support as we bloody well know we can be. It’s not easy but for fucks sake it better come quick or we’ll have a league with which nobody to watch it.