A MESSAGE to all Burton Albion supporters from the Chairman and the Manager.
The Chairman - Ben Robinson
IT has been a long journey for Burton Albion Football Club to make the progress it has over the last 25 years and it has taken a lot of hard work on and off the pitch to achieve our ambitions.
We have been able to take this club from the second tier of non-league football to the Championship – one of the biggest leagues in Europe - without breaking the bank, and at the same time putting an immense amount back into the town through the work of our charity Burton Albion Community Trust.
The football club has also supported many charities, local sports clubs and good causes helping to raise many thousands of pounds.
None of that could have been achieved without the backing and dedication of our supporters, some of whom go back to the day the club was founded in 1950.
They understand better than anybody how we have gone from travelling to Bishop Auckland on a wet November afternoon in the Unibond League and playing in front of 371 spectators, to running out at St James’ Park to play Newcastle United in the Championship.
The only disappointment is that our fanbase hasn’t grown as we have made that journey and even now there are clubs in non-league who get more through the turnstiles than we do.
But we know that the vast majority of our fans care, passionately and deeply, about Burton Albion.
Which makes it all the more disappointing when a small minority of our fans boo the players or use abusive language on social media.
We understand the frustrations of last season, not winning at home for such a long time, and relegation. And everyone is entitled to an opinion, that’s what football is all about.
But abusive comments and the language used by that minority on social media platforms is not acceptable – nor the letter that arrived at my office using a vile four-letter word that was personally very hurtful.
Burton Albion fans don’t behave like that and we aren’t the kind of club that wants those kind of fans.
I also never understand why fans would boo a player. I can assure you that every player who pulls on a Burton Albion shirt gives everything for the club and wants to win for the manager, for his team-mates and for the supporters. To boo any player is not being a true supporter and is counter-productive as your backing is what motivates them.
Your support does make a difference and we need you behind us and need you cheering us on.
I know that’s what the vast majority of our supporters continue to do week-in and week-out and together we are what makes Burton Albion the kind of football club we all want to be part of.
The Manager - Nigel Clough
So, in the final few minutes of last season, Burton Albion were finally relegated from what is the third biggest league in Europe, in terms of support, after playing against former League champions and European Cup winners for two seasons. It’s been beyond our wildest dreams.
I want to echo the chairman’s words and thank him for the way he has run the football club and the hard work and commitment he puts into it on a daily basis.
The club has made incredible progress in the last 25 years, moving up the leagues and building and paying for the Pirelli Stadium. The fact that we have done all of it without mounting up debts and still retaining the commitment of putting the community at the heart of what the club is all about, is testimony to the Chairman’s dedication and passion for Burton Albion. The club and Chairman will not change the principles that have made it all possible.
I look around the stands now and I see a lot of the same faces that have been following the club since we were in the Unibond League.
We have come a long way together. Let’s not become a divided club as many seem to be these days. The last 25 years have only been possible by sticking together at all times.
That’s why we musn’t let a small minority spoil it with their abusive comments on social media. These are a small number and although they are very vocal their views are not representative of the majority of Burton Albion supporters. We must remember that a lot of fans don’t even use social media.
I know the vast majority of our supporters appreciate what the Chairman has done for the club and town and are right behind every player on matchdays. I would urge all of you to make as much positive noise as you can on matchdays and drown out the few who want to boo. They have never been part of the true Burton Albion we have known for so many years.