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STATEMENT: The Squadron Withdrawing From Active Support

The Squadron FSC Inc advise, effective immediately we are ceasing involvement with active support. The FFA’s mandated restrictions & conditions applied to all active groups in the A-League have had a devastating impact on the levels of active support growth at Jets fixtures.

These restrictions included:
• Zero free movement allowed into and out of active support areas
• Dedicated active support area with defined entry/exit points that were manned at all times by security personnel
• Excessive police & security scrutiny & strategies on the active support area over many seasons. We always aimed to work co-operatively & proactively, the response was consistently adversarial and aggressive
• Restricting of active support single game ticket online sales to individual adult tickets only and requirements of capturing private information, making online or ticket window purchases slow and complicated 

We have persevered to make things work within the rules for years, moved locations twice to try to rebuild numbers and have worked with the club on different initiatives. It is clear that the FFA restrictions are insurmountable in keeping officially sanctioned active support alive in Newcastle.

The growth of the NCL group since January in Bay 1 (a General Admission area with no entry restrictions) we believe showed that if the restrictions could be lifted on the Southern Hill, then active support might be able to recover. We were informed that being the “official active support group” meant we had to abide by the FFA mandated conditions or lose status and active support privileges. It’s hoped that by standing aside as an official active support group, an organic growth of unaffiliated groups such as the NCL can continue so that matchday atmosphere is what we had always envisaged – loud and parochial.

As a consequence of ending our involvement in active support, The Squadron will refocus its efforts as a supporters club. This means we will still aim be involved in non-matchday activities:

  • Selling Merchandise to fund…
  • Interstate away tours & organising away game pubs
  • NSW Away Coaches
  • Newyhelps charity drive
  • Promotion of Premier Hotel for prematch and away games
  • Financially supporting newcastlefootball.net supporters forum & website and The Jetstream (podcast, TV and fanzine)
  • Tifo displays at selected games (subject to club agreement)
  • Lobbying the club on behalf of supporters via the Members Advisory Group (subject to club agreement)
  • Lobbying other stakeholders on behalf of supporters via social media & direct communication
  • Communicating relevant information to supporters and public via website and social media channels.
  • Supporting the efforts of other Jets fans to build a strong and vibrant supporter culture in Newcastle.

In the off season, The Squadron will hold an AGM to elect the committee and plan for next seasons non-matchday activities. If you’d like to be involved or have your opinions heard please come along.

We were able to accomplish a great deal in 12 seasons:

  • Two of the biggest tifos in the A-League to date – the Big Gold Banner for the 2008 Grand Final & NEWCASTLE drop down tifo in 2011
  • A fleet of buses in 2008 organised in a few days for supporters to travel to Allianz Stadium for the Grand Final
  • At one stage we were the third largest supporter group in the League
  • Raised $3500 in our first ever Newyhelps charity fundraising drive in 2015, raising money for families staying at Ronald McDonald House to attend Jets games and Sam’s Fund for SUDEP in memory of Squadron member Sam Taylor
  • Successfully lobbying the club and stadium to allow 1.5mx1m banners & flags into the stadium without having to be part of active support
  • Multiple interstate away trips
  • Liaising with away stadiums on behalf of supporters to ensure entry for banners & equipment
  • Countless small, medium and large flags, fence banners and tifo displays over 12 seasons

Lastly, we would like to thank everyone who ever joined in The Squadron, helped out making and deploying tifo, came up with a chant, jumped on the mega, helped out with drumming, waved a flag, served on the committee or simply joined in the chants and songs. Sincerely, thank you. We also thank all those at the club who helped us over the years.

From the glory days in the first four seasons to the rebuilding attempts in the later seasons – it was a hell of a ride.

Never Tear Us Apart

SQUADRON: Notice of Annual General Meeting

We would like to advise supporters that The Squadron Football Supporters Club, Inc will be holding their Annual General Meeting this Sunday 18th September.

The AGM will be held at The Premier Hotel, 1 Brunker Rd Broadmeadow. Please arrive from 230pm for a 3pm start.

We will be detailing reports from the various office bearers before holding elections for committee positions, please be advised that only paid members from last season will be able to vote in these elections.

After the elections, the committee will be discussing details for the season ahead including memberships/online store/merchandise, feedback from the active support forum, tifo, gameday operations and committee/senior members involvement, home/away venue, income/expenditure, newyhelps campaign, social media, partnerships/sponsorship and away coach services.

We invite any interested supporters with feedback or ideas relating to active support to attend and take part in these discussions as we will be locking away most of our upcoming seasons activities and direction during the AGM.

We also hope to have a member of the Jets staff in attendance to detail what is happening with the active support area location and procedures on the Southern Hill for future seasons.

If you are planning to attend please RSVP via this Facebook event to give us an idea of numbers https://www.facebook.com/events/307897062918679/

If you are unable to attend and would like to submit an item for discussion please email us squadronfsc@gmail.com

Never Tear Us Apart

Squadron Statement: Boycott action for Friday vs Sydney FC

As many of you are aware, David Gallop came before the cameras yesterday to hopefully denounce the Anti Football Mafia and to provide a transparent and sustainable way forward for banning football fans with an appeals process available.

What he served up was the complete opposite which only fed the Anti Football Mafia and provided no clear process for the right of fans to appeal wrongful bans. Not only this, the burden of proof remains on the fans to prove their innocence while denying them access to the evidence that was used to ban them in the first place.

In light of all this, The Squadron FSC has decided to join our fellow active supporter groups in a united stance by boycotting the away bay on Friday night and pending future developments boycotting Bay 60 for home fixtures.

We are aware that many will not be able to travel due to the poor scheduling of this fixture but a stance needs to be made. For those who have already bought tickets and intend to travel, we implore that you support us and other supporter groups by not standing in the away bay (bay 3) at Allianz Stadium this Friday night.

Our support for our club and the boys on the field has not changed and we hope that they see the larger picture in this action.

For everything to return to “normal” we request the following:

  • A transparent and documented process for banning fans with defined standards of evidence
  • An appeals process that is fair and easily accessible for all banned fans
  • A commitment to transparent practices at all levels.
  • Minimum common sense to stand up against the lies and defamation that the Anti Football Mafia have thrown at us. Back your sport and don’t bow to their demands by giving them what they want.
  • And most importantly, the FFA must start treating its supporters as stakeholders and not customers.

Supporters are the FFA’s biggest asset and our treatment as second class citizens has been poor and united as one we (all supporters), will not accept it.

They will Never Tear Us Apart