West Adelaide chief executive David Grenvold told The Advertiser that complaints against a small group of passionate Bloods fans during Saturday’s game against Adelaide at Richmond Oval was a “little bit precious”.
Adelaide Crows officials allegedly asked six fans in the West cheers squad to stop banging on the ground’s signs after goals during the Bloods’ stirring victory.
“Cheering for your football team is part of the game; a great part of the game,” Grenvold said.
“You yell and cheer when your team scores a goal — we have been doing that for 140 years in SANFL football.
“This is Richmond Oval ... not Wimbledon.”
An SANFL-hired security guard approached West Adelaide football manager Andrew Marks at quarter-time of the game seeking advice on the protocol for dealing with spectator complaints.
The Bloods believed the noise complaint had been prompted by a handful of Crows fans in the 1359-strong crowd taking issue with the diehard West Adelaide supporters repeatedly banging the iron advertising signs behind the northern goal when the Bloods scored a goal.
This continued as the last-placed West Adelaide made a dramatic fightback in the last term to beat the Crows by 21 points for its third win of the SANFL season.
West Adelaide’s reluctance to act followed an unnamed Adelaide Football Club staffer telling ground security the Crows would lodge an official report with the SANFL.
The Adelaide Football Club says the staffer was a private security guard hired by the Crows to patrol the team and its officials at SANFL games.
“It was a flippant remark,” the Crows said in a statement to The Advertiser last night.
“There was no official complaint from the club on the day — and there will be none to the SANFL.”
Crows fans this season, however, have complained to their AFL-based club about being harassed at SANFL games. But Grenvold is unaware of any West Adelaide fan making any offensive remark while cheering.
“We are told the Crows fans were unhappy with the noise,” Grenvold said.
“Our cheer squad is not a juggernaut. We would love to marshal more fans to be part of the cheer squad — and be even more vocal. That is a project for next year.”
The events at Richmond Oval on Saturday follow Adelaide Football Club chief executive Andrew Fagan in May needing to deal with complaints from Crows fans about obscene and inappropriate language used by Melbourne supporters who were guests at the Adelaide Oval.
Fagan insists his directive in an email was not to silence opposition cheering at Crows AFL matches, but to address isolated incidents of unacceptable behaviour.
But it drew the wrath of many, who defended the rights of supporters to cheer their team. The latest episode adds to the unease between the eight traditional SANFL clubs and the AFL reserves units from the Crows and Power.