First and foremost, we want to thank the fans (both home and away) for turning out in such strong numbers last night. The atmosphere was testament to Scottish football at its best. If we can turn those newcomers into regulars at Firhill we’ll be a much stronger Club for it.
Secondly, we’d like to thank the players and coaching staff for their tremendous efforts in recent months. They have helped to foster a real togetherness at the Club both on and off the park. We are set up strongly for the second leg next week.
However, we feel in other respects that Friday was far from the Club’s finest hour. It is clear that ticketing arrangements went badly wrong ahead of this game, and that this had knock-on consequences for fan safety.
Ticketing problems and the John Lambie Stand
Many fans were disappointed not to be able to buy tickets for the John Lambie Stand, being told that it had “sold out” well in advance. Yet, at kick-off, the stand was half-empty: emptier than it has been at some league games. Those fans are owed an apology and a full and honest explanation of what happened.
It appears to us that the arrangements at the Club for monitoring ticket sales and distribution went badly wrong, and no one thought to sense check the numbers. The Club owes the fans an explanation for how it plans to avoid similar problems in the future.
Fan migration before the second half
The Club also owes the support a full and honest explanation about the events that took place immediately before the start of the second half. We entirely understand that relocating fans from one stand to another may have been the most appropriate course of action, given rising frustration. Similar measures have been taken before with unexpectedly high attendances at Firhill, most notably against Morton a decade ago.
But the situation yesterday appeared to be completely outwith the control of the stewards and Police. If a decision was to be made to allow fans to move, the timing of it was highly questionable. Whilst there were isolated instances of crowd disorder, that does not excuse an (apparently) hastily organised and uncontrolled migration of fans. We invite the Club to explain what changes it will be making to its processes so that fan, player and staff safety is not compromised at similar fixtures in future.