Published: 05/10/2017 11:00 - Updated: 04/10/2017 10:43

Banned fans talks in pipeline, says Inverness Caley Thistle chief

Written byJamie Durent

CALEY Thistle chairman Graham Rae will consider reopening dialogue with the fans banned following trouble at the Brechin City game in August.

The board took action against a small number of younger supporters after smoke bombs were let off, seats were damaged at Glebe Park and a D&E Coaches bus was vandalised.

Rae and the board came in for criticism from the club’s younger fans, who have gone under the name of UI17 most recently, accusing them of not wanting atmosphere at Caley Jags games and even refusing to attend matches in the future.

However, Rae felt they were left with no alternative after receiving bills from Brechin City and D&E Coaches, added to video evidence of the trouble and the abuse directed at members of the supporters’ group Caley Jags Together and the ICT Supporters Travel Club.

But he admitted there will come a certain point where discussions will need to be had as to how the two parties proceed.

Rae said: "After a suitable passage of time, we should offer to meet them and talk to them. We’ve had parents in – one of those banned was a turnstile operator here. It’s regrettable that we’ve had to ban anyone. We’re trying to get back into the hands of the community and we want all the supporters to come here. In due course, when everything settles down, we should ask to speak to them and see if they’re prepared to make any commitment to behaving better.

"There’s a group of younger supporters – we love the passion, the noise and the commitment they bring. We love the drums. This has never been a club that’s been noisy from a supporter perspective. But they have abused the people that have accused them and we’re now faced with the situation where I’m getting a lot of complaints from supporters about this small minority."

Rae also shed some light on the feedback he has received on the events of August 26. Six fans were ejected from the stadium, two smoke bombs were let off and an air conditioning unit on a supporters’ bus was vandalised.

Ironically, the Caley Jags were back at the same stadium seven days later for an Irn-Bru Cup game against Aberdeen Colts, which passed without incident.

Rae added: "I’ve had a lot (of feedback) on email and social media. I’ve talked to the supporters club and those who organise the buses; we had film of it. Six supporters were ejected – we ended up with four names. One refused to give their name and the other gave a fake name. The police were involved, the first time Brechin have had the police inside in a generation.

"We were sent a bill for damage to the seats. Our match photographer had footage of it. We had the bus company complain that they’ve never experienced that kind of damage in their years dealing with the club. We’ve talked to Police Scotland, had a report from Brechin and looked on social media ourselves.

"The two ladies that run the supporters’ trust and the buses have been vilified by these fans online. (Using) abusive language and expletives and they should never be put in that position. We feel we’ve taken the right action.

"They raised a charter against us and said they weren’t coming back. I believe the following week, a number of them went to Ross County and were ejected again. We know who the ringleaders are and they’ve not been discreet online."

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