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
TRUE SUPPORTERS AGAINST VIOLENCE SCHEME
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