COMMENT: Bairns backing is not all bad

Falkirk had a huge support in Dunfermline. Picture Michael Gillen.
Falkirk had a huge support in Dunfermline. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk Herald Sports Editor David Oliver has his say on the strength of the Falkirk support amid recent negative headlines.

Falkirk’s support at Dunfermline, in numerical terms, was exceptional for a club of its size and in the position it has found itself this season.

For all the differing opinions about Academy cuts, directors’ elections and managers, to the universal disappointment over results on the park. To unite through all that and take around half the usual home crowd to an away game on a freezing day was tremendous.

Together, they were fantastic.

Individually some let the club down and allowed the efforts of each of the 2,100 or so estimated in the east stand to be tarnished and dragged through the gutter.

The eyeballs were out of order. Horrible. Some of the chants were out of line. Uncalled for.

It wasn’t conducted by idiots. Thought went into it. It wasn’t hurtful in the heat of the moment. It was pre-meditated to cause maximum offence. And it did.

It was done by individuals being nasty. Plain and simple. 
No-one is expecting pristine, exemplary behaviour, polite applause, corner please ref, thank you, in the heated atmosphere of a derby.

Booing of an opponent is fine. Some actually revel in it. Airing an opinion A-OK. Gamesmanship – part of competition at times. Sledging often is too. But there’s a line of decency.

Its position is self-determined but the majority of people have standards and expectations around the same, give or take.

The away end was packed for the derby match. Picture Michael Gillen.

The away end was packed for the derby match. Picture Michael Gillen.

Common human decency and a sense of decorum should be a requirement of everyday life, not an expectation. Where you stand or sit, in a football ground, cinema or public park and how much you’ve paid to do so doesn’t matter. There’s a line on acceptability. What happened at East End Park went beyond just about everyone’s.

Those I know who were in that away end, and I assume the majority of the others are not nasty, horrible people. They’re loyal, supportive football fans with behavioural standards which the club can be proud of. Which society can accept.

I don’t know who let the club down, but I do know Falkirk has a collective fan base to be proud of. 
They show that routinely in backing the team, even in the most difficult of times when the blows to their hopes and dreams seem never-ending.

They turned out at Dunfermline, Westfield, then at Inverness, and they’ll turn out again to back the Bairns at Cappielow too.

Unacceptable: rubber eyeball toys were thrown onto the park from the away end. Picture Michael Gillen.

Unacceptable: rubber eyeball toys were thrown onto the park from the away end. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk fans made the long trip to Inverness despite the club's miserable season. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk fans made the long trip to Inverness despite the club's miserable season. Picture Michael Gillen.