Sweary Kirkcaldy man 'discriminated against by English football club for being Scottish'

A Kirkcaldy football fan living in England who was hit with a letter threatening to revoke his season ticket because of his swearing says he is being discriminated against - because he has a Scottish accent.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 11:02 am
Barry Innes, from Kirkcaldy, says his accent makes him stand out despite other fans having even worse language.
Barry Innes, from Kirkcaldy, says his accent makes him stand out despite other fans having even worse language.

Barry Innes, who supports Bristol City FC, has been told he might be banned from the ground or moved from his seat to a different section.

The club claim 'repeated complaints' have been lodged regarding Barry's outbursts from supporters sitting near him.

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Barry has been told to keep it clean.

And the club has warned him he faces being banned from one or more games if he carries on swearing at matches.

Barry, who lives in Southmead but is originally from Kirkcaldy, believes the club's stewards are picking on him because he is Scottish.

He says his bad language sticks out among 'everyone else there who swears' because of his distinctive voice.

Barry received his first letter from Ashton Gate after the first home game of the season, warning him fans around him had complained about his bad language.

Then, following a big game against Leeds United on Saturday (March 8), he's received another email - this time telling him he's being moved.

Barry first moved to Bristol in 2005 and has been a season ticket holder at Bristol City for the past eight years.

He has supported the club through the dark days in League One, through promotion and now the cup runs and promotion push of the Lee Johnson era.

Mr Innes said he thinks his thick Scottish accent might seem aggressive to people, but he is never threatening.

He said: "I think it's because I'm Scottish, so it seems aggressive. It stands out a bit," he said.

"I might swear on the odd occasion, but to say it's repeatedly is rubbish.

"A lot of people swear around me at the match.

"There might be 50 people swearing.

"The people behind me are louder than me, and my friends at the game will shout and swear.

"But I have tried not to, but it sometimes slips out, and it stands out a bit more."

He added: "I say it to myself, but I never swear at anybody."

Ahead of tonight's game at home to Ipswich Town, he isn't sure where he will be seated.

An Ashton Gate spokeswoman said Barry was falling foul of the EFL's regulations about foul and abusive language.

She said: "We have received repeated complaints from supporters sitting near Mr Innes, that he is aggressive and shouts foul and abusive language when he attends a game.

"In accordance with Regulation 9 of the EFL's Football Ground Regulations: The use of threatening behaviour, foul or abusive language is strictly forbidden and will result in arrest and/or ejection from the ground.

"The club may impose a ban of one or more matches. Up until now we've tried to appeal to Mr Innes to curb his language and behaviour.

"However, at the Leeds game here at the weekend, we received several complaints from supporters around him, requesting him to stop swearing.

"Mr Innes replied: 'It's a ******* football match'.

"Mr Innes will now be moved from his seat in the South Stand and relocated to another area where he will be closely monitored."

She added: "If he persists in this anti-social behaviour he will be ejected and /or banned from the stadium."