Heavy Hands - Empty Stands

18 November 2011 05:13
Motherwell Supporters Trust has issued a statement backing the Heavy Hands - Empty Stands campaign group that has been formed to oppose the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill.

The statement on MSTonline.net site states:-

Heavy Hands - Empty Stands is a campaign group formed by Motherwell FC fans to oppose the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications bill.

The bill is currently being rushed through parliament by the Scottish Government who earlier this year claimed that Scottish football was responsible for a rise in crimes such as domestic abuse and sectarianism. 

A crime is a crime. If someone is involved in conduct which is illegal then one cannot make it even more illegal.

Let’s therefore be clear. The Scottish Government’s proposed legislation to tackle sectarianism will not therefore make any difference. There is already sufficient legislation which if properly enforced already covers all aspects of improper conduct by football fans both at and near football grounds.

Legislation which is hastily derived for what is perceived as a current major problem is invariably rushed, ill-founded and not properly thought out and does not achieve the desired result. Indeed such legislation inevitably fails and will criminalise many people whilst not actually addressing the fundamental underlying issues.

As Motherwell fans we have witnessed and endured the sectarianism of the Old Firm for decades with nothing being actually done to address it.  We should not however be tarred with the same brush and these laws if implemented will simply cause football fans immeasurable problems due to their vagueness and draconian nature.

These proposals will affect all football fans and should be resisted by us all. The consequences will simply hammer a further nail in the coffin of football fans who simply try to enjoy themselves in the spectacle that is football and who do not deserve to be vilified for it.

The Heavy Hands Empty Stands campaign will set out to protect Motherwell supporters and fight this bill.  We will not allow law abiding football fans to be criminalised and we urge all supporters of Motherwell Football Club to back our campaign.  More information on how to support the campaign will be available in the coming weeks.