Bring the passion but ditch the flares

A letter to all Members and fans from John Tsatsimas, Tony Popovic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Tomorrow night is going to be a huge night for our Club.  Without you, this Club could not even hint at breaking the Hyundai A-League record in such a short period of time since its inception.


 
We know that the Sydney Derby is a match that we all look for in the schedule upon its release and for it to come in Round 1 this season with our biggest crowd in history on the horizon is something very special. The atmosphere you will create will be world class and something that is rarely seen anywhere in this country. We know we have the best members and fans in the league and we want to keep it that way.
 
Whilst the vast majority of our supporters are dedicated to enhancing our club, there are a very small minority of people who have harmed our performance, success and reputation in the past by lighting flares inside and outside the stadium.
 
This behaviour is something that we are committed to eradicating and we are united as a whole Club - members, fans, players, coaches and staff alike - to make our games a safe and inclusive environment for everyone in Western Sydney.
 
Last season we reached a tipping point. Light flares at our matches (whether home or away) and fines to our club and points deductions will follow.
 
This season we have worked on a campaign with the league to stamp out the proliferation of flares at our matches and on the marches. Flare use, irrespective of your view, is illegal and harmful to our Club and has the potential to affect our season both on-and-off the field. You are likely to see some imagery (similar to the above header) at our games on the big screen and on social media this season reinforcing this message.
 
The campaign aims to highlight the difference between our dedicated supporters, and those who choose to light flares – who are damaging, disrespectful and disloyal individuals with total disregard for the Club and the game of football. It is not meant to offend or cause outrage to those that are doing the right thing but we need to act as a group to ensure that your Club is not affected by illegal behaviour in the stands.
 
As a Club we are united to succeed on the pitch and have a flare-free season. Use of flares and anti-social behaviour is unacceptable and not welcome at our games.
 
We look forward to sharing the season ahead with all of you as we prepare to start our season with three points tomorrow night against Sydney FC.