Wanderers CEO stands up for fans

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas has stood up for the club's fans following the copious amounts of negative attention created by media and police in recent weeks. 

The recent drama began several weeks ago when Wanderers fans were called "grubs" by Police Association of NSW (PANSW) President, Scott Weber.
 
Sydney-based newspaper the Daily Telegraph published on Sunday a list of 198 alleged fans banned from A-League games, with approximately half of those belonging to the Wanderers.
 
This was then followed up on Monday when radio broadcaster Alan Jones compared violence around A-League matches as "like the terrorism in Paris". 
 
Tsatsimas issued an open letter to Wanderers fans on Wednesday on the back of the "major disappointment in terms of negative attention on our club".
 
"As a club we stand by the fact that anyone who has caused an offence, been involved in anti-social behaviour or ignited a flare at a match (in or outside the venue) has no place in our game, at our stadium or our Club – it is clear that this behaviour brings negative public attention to not just our Club but to Western Sydney as our home and football in general," the letter read.
 
"Notwithstanding this - we strongly oppose our Members being described in derogatory terms, particularly those who represent themselves at our matches with pride, integrity and hold the positive values that we represent in Western Sydney.
 
"As you would know, we have been involved in ongoing dialogue for the last seven months with a number of involved parties including the venue, FFA, NSW Police, other security stakeholders and our active supporter members.  We focus a significant amount of time and resourcing on this dialogue and it is something we take very seriously.
 
"Our club has invested in a number of Supporter Marshalls who are the liaison between fans, police, security and the stadium at home and most away matches.  These Marshalls have proved very successful to date.
 
"Next week we will meet with the new Assistant Police Commissioner Kyle Stewart to directly engage in a dialogue about how to create a more harmonious working relationship with our Members and NSW Police, many of whom are in fact Wanderers fans. We call for the support of all of our fans in this matter.
 
"While there are some so-called “fans” who have not represented the club in the right way – and will not be welcomed or accepted by the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club - we will always advocate for the rights of our Members (in both public and private forums) who are exceptional in both their behaviour and their passion for this Club and who have been branded unfairly in a negative manner.
 
"This includes members who feel they are unjustly banned. Let’s be clear – this is a serious subject and one that cannot be misrepresented or misinterpreted. If you do something that does not comply with the term of entry to any venue or the laws of this country, we will not support you. However, within the parameters of the system that is in place at FFA, if you feel you have been wrongly banned and have compelling evidence to support your claim please contact our office at info@wswanderersfc.com.au and bring this evidence forward and we will advocate on your behalf to the FFA.
 
"We ask that all fans refrain from targeting individuals in response to these issues and work together to achieve a fair outcome for all.
 
"Wanderland is and always will be a safe and secure place for our Members and fans.  We have the best fans in the league - we are one club made up of a rich tapestry of cultures, nationalities and backgrounds that unite as one for our team and the sport we love."