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Hard on the heels of the club's announcement today ( 10 February ) regarding the proposed change in the name of the ID card scheme the Fans Forum issued the following press release.

Fans Forum Press Release
10th February 2005


The I.D Card issue

or TRUE SUPPORTERS AGAINST VIOLENCE SCHEME, to give it its proper name, has been probably been the most contentious issue in the Clubs recent history.

In truth, the natural instinct to shorten the name of the card emanated a furore of debate, arguments and even caused a divide within the ranks of Stoke City supporters, which had hitherto seemed impossible.

The scheme was launched with the very best of intentions.

Unfortunately, right from its public launch, the unfortunate connotation that was being placed upon the title of the scheme, meant that supporters who had joined the scheme, and the Club, were now having to openly face, in some instances, very severe criticism, which saw the term ‘True supporters’ being subjected to a rather derisory usage of the term, by many antagonists of the scheme.

The crucial reason for adopting the scheme, i.e. eliminating our minority unsavoury element of supporters, who were seriously and adversely affecting the majority of the more respectful and responsible members of our away contingent, enjoying their ‘away day’ experience, and successfully getting everyone ‘tarnished with the same brush’, which led to many regrettable instances of unacceptable behaviour and Police arrests. The scheme, despite its criticisms, has without question, worked remarkably well!

But despite this ‘success’ the scheme remained much maligned because of the perceived nature of its name.

It has undoubtedly caused many rifts between supporters and the Club and indeed, even between fellow supporters.

The Fans Forum applaud the Club, for taking such a positive action following the expression of our concerns, which we have voiced many times in the past, so we are whole heartedly backing this fresh approach to the scheme, and the Clubs efforts in genuinely attempting to try and de-fuse a very emotive issue.