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Back the boys to success

November 14, 2019

Following recent SFA communications on supporter conduct, club secretary Ann Marie Ballantyne wrote an article for our most recent matchday programme. Given the importance of the standards expected by the governing bodies, we are sharing the article here.


The tremendous support given to the team during last week’s win over Falkirk was the perfect example of how positive backing can have an effect on the team, and it was greatly appreciated by everyone at the club.


Ann Marie’s article, from issue 11 of Diamonds:


“They say football is full of clichés and quotes, but I am going to look at a couple of unusual ones which seem to a have a new association to the game: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”, and my Papa’s favourite: “If you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all!”


I firmly believe in the right to have your say, or to use the more normal phrase – “I paid my money, I am entitled to my opinion”. That is totally correct, but maybe we all need to re-evaluate how we put these opinions forward.


All opinions are important and the passion that we all feel for the game makes these opinions more intense, but when the impulse is to shout out through frustration, maybe we should think first and speak later. Especially if that shout is veering into personal abuse, rather than just general criticism.


Everyone who plays for Airdrieonians is someone’s son, grandson, brother, friend, husband, boyfriend. Maybe we should consider how we would feel if someone was aiming that level of abuse at one of our family. To contradict one of the quotes – names actually do hurt!


We hear references everywhere to the football family and this is now the time to embrace that idea.


This week, every club received a letter from SFA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell which set out the levels of conduct expected across Scottish football. It covers players, officials, staff and supporters. It also shows the sanctions that can be levied on the clubs if these standards are not met.


At Airdrie, let’s get ahead of the game and treat everyone in the same way we would treat our loved ones – and in the way we would expect others to treat us.


I will finish on another quote, this time from Taylor Swift: “Say it in the street, that’s a knock out; say it in a tweet, that’s a cop out.”


Let’s all think before we speak.”





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