The age old generation gap has developed into a monumental yawning chasm for two groups – who on the face of it – should have a great deal in common.
The behaviour of a group of young football fans who follow St Johnstone was thrust into the spotlight after the club decided on a public airing of concerns about the die-hard supporters’ behaviour.
Like most young people they didn’t readily accept the wisdom of their elders and with the petulance of youth claimed the telling off for unruly behaviour had “tarnished” their reputation.
A reputation which includes clashing with rival supporters might seem a little difficult to besmirch and the young spokesman for the group admitted as much by saying: “If letting off a couple of smoke bombs and chanting is considered unacceptable conduct, then we may be at fault.”
However the club does recognise the worth of their young fans and has extended an olive branch – of sorts – to those who toe the line.
“It is a great shame that the sterling efforts of the group to vocally support the team within McDiarmid Park are being undermined by wider issues caused by a section of the group,” said the club.
Channelled in the right direction the undisputed passion and devotion that they have for their club might be the very stuff that keeps the beautiful game alive.
In an age of falling attendances a hardcore group of supporters who turn out in all weathers across the country chanting, drumming and waving their banners is surely the lifeblood of the club’s future.
Certainly the rather subdued nature of the Fair City Unity at Saturday’s match with Aberdeen detracted significantly form the atmosphere experienced by the more than-5000 fans who turned out.
Young hotheads mature in time and become the backbone of a club’s support in the future.
Hopefully those who run the club can remember their own youthful transgressions and the two sides can come together and present a unified front, all in the club’s best interests.