BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DUNFERMLINE have apologised to their supporters after admitting that the turnstile farce during their derby clash against Falkirk has left the club looking “amateurish and unprofessional”.
Hundreds of Pars fans suffered delays at East End Park on Saturday as their updated electronic entry system continues to endure teething problems.
Many missed the opening two goals against the Bairns, with Declan McManus and Joe Cardle both finding the net within 11 minutes.
In a brutally honest statement released yesterday, the Fife outfit acknowledged that the situation has been “embarrassing” and lambasted the third-party responsible for the installation of the technology for broken promises.
Dunfermline do not host another fixture until September 16, when St Mirren visit, and they hope to solve the entry issue by that date – albeit more than a month after the system was slated to be tested and fully operational.
A lengthy message to fans on the clubs’ official website read: “Dunfermline would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to a number of supporters by the delay on entry to East End Park on Saturday.
“It is understood that some supporters unfortunately missed the first two goals which is deeply disappointing in such an important derby match.
“Unfortunately, our club has been badly let down by a third party who is installing an upgrade to our existing access control system. We were promised in May that this would be fully installed, checked and tested in advance of our first home league game of the season against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on 12th August.
“Despite repeated promises, deadlines have continually not been met which has now led to our club looking amateurish and unprofessional, which is not acceptable.
“The system is still not fully operational but severe pressure is now being put on the supplier to ensure the system is fully upgraded and tested, well in advance of our next home match against St Mirren. In addition, it is our intention to issue a short video highlighting how to scan your match ticket or season ticket card in future.
“However, as ever we would encourage supporters to arrive as early as possible to avoid possible bottlenecks at the turnstiles from 2.50pm onwards.
“This matter has caused embarrassment and a lot of disruption to our club, but we would like to thank and commend our own staff, safety team and our stewarding company G4S who responded stoically and managed a very difficult situation really well at the last two home matches.”
The club, meanwhile, addressed supporters who complained that kick-off against Falkirk should have been delayed in light of the issue.
The statement added: “To answer a number of post-match queries we have since received, only in exceptional circumstances, whereby congestion could pose a safety risk can the kick-off be delayed. In addition, this needs the agreement of both clubs, the match officials and Police Scotland.”