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Club Statement regarding the Coatbridge Boys

Club Statement regarding the Coatbridge Boys

As a result of allegations by a Kelty Hearts player that he was subject to racist abuse, the Coatbridge Boys ultra fans group were banned from The Reigart Stadium pending the results of an investigation.

The investigation is now complete and the outcome is that the decision of the club and the community is that the Coatbridge Boys ultras group is no longer welcome at Albion Rovers. This ban is whole and permanent. 

Anyone displaying scarves and flags affiliated with the Coatbridge Boys group, or anything similar, will be asked to leave the stadium.

The investigation found that there is indisputable evidence that the Coatbridge Boys:

  • Were in the vicinity of the racist abuse heard by Nathan Austin of Kelty Hearts
  • Publicly claimed responsibility for the abuse on social media channels 
  • Subsequently deleted the post and claimed no responsibility 

However, by that point extensive media coverage had irreversibly tarnished the reputation of the club.

Further to that, after promises made to the board at the start of the 2021 season that open dialogue would always exist to resolve issues that we all anticipated due to the nature of ultra fans “sailing close to the wind” — in the aftermath of the incident, the self-identified leader of the group offered little assistance.

We anticipate that members of the group may feel hard done by and may try to request a refund for their season tickets. Unfortunately, while we don’t disagree that this is a robust decision, the nature of the incident and the damage to the reputation of the club is too great. It is our view that while no-one (including us) is perfect, the time for sweeping racism under the carpet is past.

Especially, when we need to look only as far as Drumpellier Park to find a resource gifted to the people of Coatbridge by the family of Andrew Buchanan: a man who originally bought Drumpellier Estate with a fortune made by exploiting slaves on tobacco plantations in Virginia.

As a small but sincere gesture of solidarity with any person who suffers abuse, if any Coatbridge Boys want to return their season tickets to the club we will not issue a refund to them BUT we will use that money to make a donation to a charity of Nathan Austin’s choosing.

Everyone is welcome at Albion Rovers.

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