In response to a solitary anonymous email the club received along with several news agencies and Police Scotland, ICTFC completely refutes all of the allegations in the anonymous email.
Similarly the vexatious and misleading headlines and “reporting” of this non-story in the Daily Record today, which are completely false.
Everyone at ICTFC takes our responsibility extremely seriously and on Saturday, we were also aware of our duty to the rest of the game to make sure we carefully adhered to the guidelines laid out for the return of fans.
It is worth noting that the SPFL Match Delegate took time to personally thank our senior staff for the excellent delivery of the operation at the close of the stadium to the public on Saturday and repeated this praise in his match report. There is no “SFA probe” into the club, nor any SPFL investigation into the club following Saturday’s game.
Months of work has gone into the club having the ability to accommodate supporters back into the Caledonian Stadium and every Govt guideline has been adhered to in order to not only allow ICTFC to facilitate the safe return of fans back to our home games, but also in order for the rest of the Scottish game to be able to follow on, once the guidelines allow.
Since the Scottish Govt announcement re 300 fans being allowed to attend games in Level 1, our preparations had gone into overdrive and we have worked with all key stakeholders throughout the process, with no expense spared in order to deliver a safe and professionally run event on Saturday 21st November.
A pre match operations meeting took place on Wednesday 18th November at 4pm which involved Police Scotland, the SPFL Match Delegate, Security Provider, Medical Provider, multiple ICTFC Staff including MSO, Stadium Manager/Covid-19 Officer and two Raith Rovers Safety Personnel. At that meeting, it was made known by ICTFC’s Security Provider that a small number of Security Staff may be travelling from the central belt but any that did would obviously be following strict Govt Guidelines and we have all of the paperwork relating to the fact that they did. Police Scotland were aware of this and offered no objection as it does not breach any guidelines.
Our Security Staff are essential workers, a few are local, a few are not. We cannot legally operate an event or a game without them.
On receipt of the anonymous email we double checked all of our procedures and paperwork. We received further written documentation from our Security Provider and informed the SFA/SPFL of the allegations in email, even though we knew them to be 100% false.
On receipt of the anonymous email, the BBC and the Press and Journal asked us for comment and we provided them not only with that but with proof of some of our protocols and the facts relating to Saturday in writing. On receipt of this they both very professionally informed us that they would not be taking the matter forward. One journalist stating that it was clearly nonsense. Unfortunately and not for the first time, no one from the Daily Record had the professional courtesy to even contact the club to establish the facts and the truth.
Everyone at the club is proud of the efforts made to welcome our supporters back to Caledonian Stadium and this was reflected by all of the feedback we received from the fans in attendance.
All of it positive other than one anonymous email from someone purporting to be a fan, which was sent to press desks around the country and which led to one malicious tabloid report and headline.
The fabulous performance of the team was the icing on the cake of a very successful day and we won’t allow it to be tainted by this nonsense, nor have our good reputation tarnished. The fans who attended behaved brilliantly, followed the protocols perfectly and made a real difference to the atmosphere and to the team.
We look forward to welcoming the next group of 300 Caley Jags back to the stadium when we face Dundee on Saturday 12th December. Details of the next ballot for this match will be published this week.