Club President Wael Al Qadi has today penned an open letter to supporters...
I have been here with you now for nearly five and a half years. I hope that through that time you have seen and felt my passion for this club, my openness with supporters and my understanding of the emotions that you feel on a day-to-day basis.
We have a diverse fanbase, as was celebrated in our recent kit launch campaign and all supporters are welcome at The Mem to enjoy watching our club together.
However, the past four days have been tough for us all and I have seen first-hand that there is division within the fanbase which is not what we want heading into a new season.
Firstly, I think it is really important to confirm that as a club we stand firmly against any form of violence. Any individual that is found guilty of any such offences will be dismissed immediately. I understand the concerns expressed by a number of you. However, in line with the basic principles of British law, it is my view that you are innocent until proven guilty.
I have seen and understand the response to the statement that was released last night. Given that this is a legal matter, what we can and can’t say as a club is heavily restricted. That said, I think it is important that some context is given to the comment regarding victimless crimes as I know that has caused some distress. The phrase is a legal term referring to cases in which the victim is either unknown or has not made a complaint/engaged with the police enquiries. We in no way meant to belittle charges of domestic abuse.
I know that this may have been misinterpreted in the statement last night and I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone that was offended.
As has been well publicised we are partners with the team at HerGameToo and continue to play an active role in supporting that initiative. Furthermore, before we were aware of this issue we agreed last week to support a Domestic Violence campaign which we will continue to do heading into the new season. In addition, in 2018 we partnered with the Southmead Project who provide free counselling and support for survivors of abuse and addiction across Bristol and surrounding areas. All of these causes are at the heart of our football club and we will continue to do all we can to support those in need.
This period will have undoubtedly strained relationships, however, I hope that we can retain your trust and confidence as we look to continue to build the club and support our wider community.
I hope that you can all join me in getting behind the team this season, we need your support now more than ever.
Bristol Rovers Football Club