Chairman tells ‘rogue’ fans to ‘stay at home’

Ballymena United chairman John Taggart.

Ballymena United chairman John Taggart.

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The chairman of Ballymena United has added his condemnation to the disorder that followed the club’s midweek game against Coleraine.

John Taggart has backed the sentiments of the club’s four main supporters’ clubs who have criticised “rogue elements who have attached themselves to BUFC”.

In a strongly-worded statement, issued via the club’s Supporters’ Liaison Officer Philip Simpson, the fans criticise the small minority who have “become intent on engaging in behaviour which is unacceptable and detrimental to the reputations of us all”.

Mr Taggart endorsed that statement, adding: “The club’s stance is very clear - it’s something we don’t want associated with Ballymena United.

“There’s a feeling of disappointment and disgust about what happened.

“There was nothing during the game to indicate there would be a problem - it seems to have all kicked off outside the ground when the two sets of supporters mingled on the way up Warden Street.

“We have a close relationship with the residents and the football club doesn’t want any damage to residents’ homes or property.

“The majority of people go to enjoy the match, there’s friendly banter, rivalry - that’s always going to be the case in football.

“It seems to be that a few supporters have attached themselves to Ballymena United who are intent on damaging the club’s reputation.

“These are people we could do without and if they’re not there to enjoy the football, simply stay at home,” the chairman added.