Friday 24th October 2008
The Club can announce
that the operation of the Supporters Away Card will be suspended for all
games from Manchester United onwards.
The card was introduced in 2003 and since that time any supporters wishing
to attend an away game had to be a holder of a valid Away Card.
Announcing the news, Chief Executive Tony Scholes said: "I have never known
an issue which divides the fan base like this one, with so many in favour of
the operation of the card but so many against.
"It has always been our objective, with the operation of the card under
constant review, to remove it at some point.
"Recently, some of the key benefits of the Away Card have been eroded and I
cannot accept that there is now a valid argument for retaining the card and
our supporters being treated any differently than those of any other club.
"We have therefore decided to suspend the operation of the card."
Malcolm Clarke, Chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation said: "I
applaud the Club for taking this brave decision.
"It is now up to supporters to prove that this was the right decision and
behave in a way which is a tribute to themselves and the Club.
"It is the responsibility of all of us to play a role in self policing and
good behaviour, because we don't ever want to see the return of these Away
Terry Hughes, Chairman of the Fans Forum said: "I think it is a good step
forward by the Club.
"The cards have served their purpose and eradicated any severe problems we
have had with supporters in the past.
"The Club have showed faith in their supporters by taking this step and I
really hope we can all prove that it was the right decision and continue the
good code of conduct the travelling supporters have shown over the past few
In conclusion Chief Executive Tony Scholes added: "The card was introduced
five years ago for particular reasons, however the situation which existed
when the card was brought in is not the situation of the Club today.
"I am delighted to be in a position where we can suspend the Away Card,
because it shows how far the Club and its supporters have come over the past