HEARTS have released a statement condemning the behaviour of a group of supporters who are alleged to have attacked a Ross County supporters’ coach prior to Saturday’s match.
The fans, known as the “Young Team”, who are said to regularly sit behind the goals in the Roseburn stand, were accused of an attack the coach, stealing a drum from a County fan and even stealing a steward’s cap.
It is understood no complaints were made to the police. However, Hearts have been quick to condemn the youths’ behaviour.
A club statement read: “It is with considerable disappointment that the club, once again, is put in the position of having to apologise both to our own supporters and, in this case, to Ross County Football Club and their travelling support for the appalling behaviour of a small group of 15-25 young so-called “Hearts supporters”.”
“Let us make it clear...the club does not need these individuals and, most certainly, does not want them if this is going to be the way they continue to behave.
“Ann Budge has contacted the Ross County chairman to personally apologise and to ask that this apology is passed on to the supporters and to the coach driver, whose trip to Edinburgh was so badly tainted by the behaviour of this group.”
The club went on to make it clear that they would be exploring all possible avenues and undertaking varying strategies to ensure that this kind of behaviour does not occur again in the future.
“The club is doing everything in its power to put an end to this type of behaviour.
“We have been working closely with Police Scotland and other agencies to gather sufficient evidence against the individuals involved to enable the appropriate action to be taken. It gives us no pleasure to say that a number of fans will be banned as a consequence of their recurring bad behaviour.
“We will now be working additionally with other agencies including schools and social work departments to try to take a more holistic view of the problems facing our football club and the wider community.
“Within the stadium at all forthcoming home games we will have a greater stewarding presence and on some occasions, Police will be monitoring certain areas directly. We are also now looking at implementing much more strenuous ticketing control measures.”
Hearts revealed that a number of fans, who had taken to social media and online forums to state their anger with those involved, had contacted the club individually, demanding action be taken against those responsible.
“Our inbox at Tynecastle is filled with emails from Hearts supporters asking us to take action and we want to assure them, that we will not rest until we have satisfactorily addressed this problem.
“We will certainly never accept it as “an inevitable part of the game” here at Tynecastle.”
Read the statement in full on the Hearts website.