Unacceptable Behaviour

We were saddened to receive the following email of complaint from a London Irish supporter who visited our stadium on Sunday, the contents of which are extremely disturbing...

We were saddened to receive an email of complaint from a London Irish supporter who visited our stadium on Sunday, the contents of which are extremely disturbing, as we as a region are making every effort to ensure that our stadium, and indeed the rugby experience, can be enjoyed by home & opposition supporters alike.   This incident is, unfortunately, not isolated, as we have received one or two complaints from supporters who travelled on our organised coaches to & from Worcester to the first of our EDF fixtures. As a management, we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour, and we will be working in conjunction with the relevant organisations and departments to identify the individuals responsible and will have them removed from any further involvement here at the Stadium & with the Ospreys in general. We have posted below the original complaint along with our initial response, and we are now trying to identify the individuals concerned, but we respectfully ask for all future matches, that as valued supporters, you would assist us in trying to stamp out this kind of behaviour. London Irish Supporter's complaint:

"I was at the Ospreys versus London Irish match on Sunday 4th November as a guest of my brother-in-law, an ardent Ospreys fan. I am myself a London Irish supporter, living near their old ground in Sunbury.

I thought it a shame (at first) that the late kick-off time seemed to have prevented more London Irish supporters from making the trip & adding to the atmosphere, but perhaps they were wiser than I was.  I do realise that some fans can be a little partisan, but I don't really expect that, within moments of arriving at the ground, my wife should be sworn at for wearing a London Irish top. Nor that my fourteen year old daughter be verbally abused whilst queuing to buy some chips. No one spoke in such a manner to me - perhaps I was a little too big for such people?

The foul-mouthed harridan who seemed to disagree with every decision made my the referee which favoured the London Irish team did not add to the ambiance of occasion. Nor the difference between the silence accorded James Hook in his 58 seconds for one penalty and the assorted catcalls and worse which I won't repeat during Eoghan Hickey's attempts (none of which seemed to be over 40 seconds).

I won't detail the other unwelcoming noises, as some fans were polite enough (to me) - but I must draw your attention to one "fan", whom I trust is untypical of Ospreys supporters - after continually mistaking Topsy Ojo for Paul Sackey, he shouted loudly as Ojo tackled an Ospreys player "get that chimpanzee off his neck".

It is this remark which stung me into writing this email, but the general feeling of the match might be best summed up by my daughter's reaction. She was wearing her London Irish top & an Ospreys scarf (as we had been supporting Ospreys at the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals at the Millennium stadium earlier this year) - at end end of the match she took the scarf off and gave it away.

Normally I enjoy the occasion when I visit other teams' grounds. I just hope that this isn't a common occurrence a the Liberty Stadium."  Our response to this complaint is as follows: 

"Dear sir,

Thank you for your e.mail.

Naturally we are extremely disappointed to hear that your experience was one that you would wish to forget and we can only apologise for the disgraceful behaviour that you witnessed during your visit. The management are continually driving the message that as a Region we expect our supporters to act in a manner that we can all be proud of, indeed you may have heard on more than one occasion this message being delivered on our tannoy system during the game. Sadly, there appears to be a minority who tarnish the reputation of the Region and we endeavour, in conjunction with the Stadium Management, to eliminate these individuals from our venue, so that the experience is one to remember for the right reasons.

Sadly, some of the problems appear to be a societal one and so we fear that our endeavours alone may not rid the game entirely of these individuals.

Again, we are sorry that the occasion was marred and we hope that this has not dampened your enthusiasm for the game.

Yours sincerely,

Ospreys Management"  In conclusion, we trust that we can count on your continued support of Ospreys Rugby as we seek to pursue excellence both on & off the field, and to have a large support base that we can all be proud of.