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Stewarding at Brisbane Road
12/8/2009

LOFT has been receiving regular feedback from a number of Orient fans on the quality of the stewarding at home matches, and very little of it has been positive.

Doug Harper, chair of LOFT, has recently held discussions with both Matt Porter (LOFC chief executive) and Chris Baker (Head of Stadium Security/Safety) in this regard, to pass on the feedback and get the responses of the Club to this issue.

LOFT wholeheartedly believes that the Club has a duty to ensure ALL fans are able to enjoy their time at Brisbane Road, without worry that their safety or enjoyment is compromised by the actions of a handful of thoughtless fellow spectators.

And although we do not want the atmosphere at a football game to be controlled to the point that the Stadium resembles a library, we also accept that hooliganism and constant chanting of foul language is not something we want Orient to be associated with all supporters need to act responsibly, especially in the Family Stand.

We have noted that a small group of teenage fans in the North Family Stand have tried to generate some noise at recent matches, and LOFT welcomes any attempts by supporters to improve the atmosphere. However, there have also been reports that - despite persistent requests from stewards to desist - the same group has continued to chant obscenities and "rush" the steep gangway nearest the East Stand housing away fans. We have urged the Club to consider re-siting this 'singing section' away from the Family Stand at the same concession prices for youths, and we hope that the Club and the fans in question can find a way to accommodate a singing section - which the Club itself has tried to organise in the past - without negatively affecting the matchday experience of other fans in the Family Stand.

We have also heard disturbing feedback of hooligan behaviour by a handful of our fans away from the stadium. LOFT has no time for such criminal and anti-social activity, and would urge all decent fans to report any observed violent activity on matchdays. We completely support the Club's officials in identifying and banning from the ground anyone found to have committed such behaviour.

Having said that, at times we believe the Club's stewards have been obsessively heavy handed with some of our fans, and certainly not always consistent in their approach. Any fans that feel they have received unfair or inappropriate treatment from the stewards should complain to the supervisor in their sector in the first place, and if not satisfied note the steward's name/number and contact Club officials in writing to voice concerns.

LOFT will continue to liaise with the club about general stewarding issues, and represent the interests of LOFT members whenever specific concerns arise.




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