A battle of managers named Tony is the centerpiece for the conclusion to Round 8 of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League: Tony Walmsley‘s Central Coast Mariners vs. Tony Popovic‘s Western Sydney Wanderers. The Wanderers have been brought in a negative light regarding a piece from the Daily Telegraph earlier this month exposing 198 banned A-League fans, and with Western Sydney’s fans comprising a majority of evicted support, it has forced the club to absorb the blow and focus more than ever on outwitting the lowly Mariners.
“As a Club we stand by the fact that anyone who has caused an offence, been involved in anti-social behaviour or ignited a flare at a match (in or outside the venue) has no place in our game, at our stadium or our Club – it is clear that this behaviour brings negative public attention to not just our Club but to Western Sydney as our home and football in general,” said Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas. “Notwithstanding this – we strongly oppose our Members being described in derogatory terms, particularly those who represent themselves at our matches with pride, integrity and hold the positive values that we represent in Western Sydney.
“While there are some so-called “fans” who have not represented the Club in the right way – and will not be welcomed or accepted by the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club – we will always advocate for the rights of our Members (in both public and private forums) who are exceptional in both their behaviour and their passion for this Club and who have been branded unfairly in a negative manner.
“This includes Members who feel they are unjustly banned. Let’s be clear – this is a serious subject and one that cannot be misrepresented or misinterpreted. If you do something that does not comply with the term of entry to any venue or the laws of this country, we will not support you.”
“We ask that all fans refrain from targeting individuals in response to these issues and work together to achieve a fair outcome for all. Wanderland is and always will be a safe and secure place for our Members and fans. We have the best fans in the league – we are one club made up of a rich tapestry of cultures, nationalities and backgrounds that unite as one for our team and the sport we love.”
Join Jo-Ryan Salazar for all the exciting action from Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET/5 p.m. AEDT. The Live Blog will start at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET/3 p.m. AEDT. Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time for continuing coverage of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season.