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Carlisle v Shrewsbury FA Cup tie temporarily halted three times as CEO makes threat

The Carlisle v Shrewsbury FA Cup tie had to be temporarily halted three times due to protests from the home fans at Brunton Park.

Tennis balls were thrown onto the pitch whilst some young supporters had to be removed from the ground after an anti-board banner was displayed in the Paddock.

There had been talk of a protest at Saturday’s second round tie with Carlisle previously urging those who attended the game not to disrupt the game, calls seemingly ignored by some.

There had been talks of a demonstration against the club’s owners outside the stadium at 1:30pm, however nothing of the sort came to fruition.

A small number of fans, did however throw tennis balls onto the pitch in the 17th minute, this happened again prior to half time and then again early in the second half.

As mentioned, a few supporters got kicked out of the ground on the 53rd minute with stewards and police approached the lads when unleashing a banner which had the message ‘Get out of our club’.

Prior to the game, Carlisle United’s supporters’ trust wanted protestors not to do anything that could disrupt the tie.

CUOSC said they “understand” fans’ anger and add that the club’s owners “acknowledge” feelings.

But go on to add that while fans have a right to protest peacefully, anything that disrupts the match itself “will not help in any way”.

CUOSC – who have 25.4 per cent voting rights in CUFC Holdings – issued a statement: “CUOSC are appealing to fans to get behind the team and support the players as they bid to cause an FA Cup upset against Shrewsbury tomorrow.

“We understand fans’ anger and frustration with the position the club is in and we know the Holdings Board acknowledges this. The directors are working hard to get answers that will enable the club to resolve some of the issues we face.

“This is a crucial time for the Blues. There are signs our form is turning around after two wins in a row. Tomorrow’s match against League One opposition is another chance for us to continue that improvement and raises the potential of drawing a big club in the next round.

“Fans have the right to demonstrate peacefully but we believe anything that affects or interrupts the match itself is unacceptable.

“Action that affects the players negatively and potentially leads to fines and other sanctions against the club will not help in any way. It will just make things worse.

“CUOSC are trying to move things forward but with the club £2.4 million in debt it is difficult. However, talks are ongoing, involving the Holdings Board, which we hope can find a solution.

CUOSC’s statement comes as club chief executive Nigel Clibbens said protests would risk hurting the club financially.

Clibbens, in an article on the club website, said: “Fan behaviour incidents at home games are rising, which is a growing concern, with further possible implications for the club.

“[The] Barrow [game] saw no arrests in the ground or on the club footprint, but we were reported to the FA for home fans in the WRE [Warwick Road End terrace] throwing drinks at a player.

“There was some disorder and arrests in the city, and we take that seriously. We don’t want CUFC-related disorder anywhere.

“A supporter has been banned for throwing a coin at a home director at the Harrogate game.

“A full Safety Advisory Group inspection took place at Walsall game. Events in the WRE late in the game, objects brought into the WRE by some fans in breach of ground regulations, and a fan on the pitch, are all in the spotlight.

“We are awaiting its findings and what it means for the club.”

The coin is understood to have been thrown in the direction of co-owner Steven Pattison at the Harrogate game a few weeks back. In supporters’ group minutes, the ban handed to the fan was described as a “short “cooling off” ban”.

After seeing plans of a protest against the club’s owners at the game against Shrewsbury Town, Clibbens added: “We are aware of plans to disrupt home matches to stop games.

“Fans need to remember, actions can be criminal and an offence under the Football Offences Act (1991). These issues carry very serious consequences for all concerned.

“Fans risk bans, which we don’t want to be faced with giving, but we cannot and will not tolerate disruption and bad behaviour. It is counter-productive and does absolutely no good in making things change.

“As a result, we expect to incur significant additional unplanned stewarding and police costs dealing with home fans on match days in the coming weeks.

“This again risks taking much-needed cash away from spending on the club, and the team, as we approach January.

“Dealing with this could also require increased searching and revisiting whether bags can continue to be allowed into the ground, which could sadly affect all fans.

“We don’t want to be faced with any of this, but I need to be up front and tell fans what is at stake in the short-term.

“I have said in the long-term, the result of this could be higher policing costs at home games, which will cost the club many thousands year after year ahead.”

Twitter users reacted after the Carlisle v Shrewsbury FA Cup tie temporarily halted three times…

@KennyWheadon: Don’t hold your breath for a reply from the BOD jon

@HarringtonJoe: Whole club feels apathetic from top to bottom. Even the protest lacked effort. Nothing up front. Nothing! Why the fan was chucked out for the banner is beyond me, unless there’s something I don’t know. Some good football fr 2/3 of the pitch. Can’t see how we win games. Depressing

@marktaylor10: Brunton Park is turning into a mini North Korea; everyone is miserable and peaceful protest is not allowed.

@NavyDave94: After 22 years I’m done with it, l took my 7 year old lad and still treated like a criminal on the way in as for the football it’s the same poor stuff refereed by the usual gutless officials, clubs broken beyond repair.

@Chris_CA2: Same old poor standard of football, can you ask the club if anti BOD banners with fire safe certificates will be allowed into the stadium?

@riegaan: The stewards forcibly removed the banner from fans without warning and without speak to them. It’s a dictatorship now Jon.

@MandyDav801: Increased security today,joke! Kids thrown out with their banner (Oldham fans allowed one), stewards refusing to let folk move seats, demanding photos taken are deleted from phones..body searches at gates. Come on cufc you will lose your young supporters, your future you clowns.

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