Matchday demos are low key’

PUBLISHED: 06:45 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

A Norwich City fans group have accused the club's vice-chairman, Barry Skipper, of insulting their intelligence and failing to listen to fans.

By CHRIS LAKEY

A Norwich City fans group have accused the club's vice-chairman, Barry Skipper, of insulting their intelligence and failing to listen to fans.

Fans behind the web site www.worthyout.co.uk claim Skipper is stirring up public opinion against the growing band of fans voicing their opinions in public.

And they have been angered by Skipper's comments, in a radio interview, in which he says that protests at the ground were making it “uncomfortable” for families on match days.

Several hundred angry fans, who want to see the end of manager Nigel Worthington's reign, are expected to take part in a demonstration outside the ground before Saturday's game against Stoke City.

Gordon Eagling, a spokesman for the web site, said the protest would be peaceful but vocal and that he had already contacted Norfolk police in an effort to ensure it went smoothly.

However, he said the group was unhappy at Skipper's comments concerning fans who have twice formed spontaneous demonstrations outside the main entrance to Carrow Road, following the performances against Ipswich and Brighton.

“We feel that Mr Skipper is trying to cause undue unrest, stir up public opinion against those that choose to voice their views publicly and try and start vastly unfounded rumours about any protest,” he said.

“We would like to point out that the protest planned for Saturday includes differing ranges of age groups, from under 14 to 78, also some supporters are bringing their children along so a peaceable family protest is what is planned.

“So far protests after the games have been low key - no arrests, no warnings etc by the police. They have been in high spirits in a typical Norwich City fans style, no violent and non-threatening manner. The police have seen this - and surely, anything of a violent or threatening behaviour would have been dealt with and reported.”

Skipper also suggested in his interview that fans should get behind the team and leave their protests until the end of the season - an assertion that brought a sharp response.

“We feel that to follow Mr Skipper's suggestion of leaving protests until the end of the season is totally ridiculous and bordering on insulting the intelligence of Norwich City Supporters,” he said. “Clearly he would like us to take up his suggestion as he, his fellow directors and other staff will no doubt be away from area.

“But, given previous statement made by Mr Skipper, it leads us to believe that this is no more than we expect from a director who claims to be part of a listening club. But we all know that there is vast amount of difference between listening and wanting to hear.”

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