Victory’s plea: “we must unite to end flares’

Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro has called on the club and its fans to unite as one to rid a “marginal element” of misbehaving fans.

Di Pietro’s passionate call came after the Hyundai A-League champions were hit with a $50,000 fine and suspended three competition point penalty for their fans’ actions at Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby.

Victory sanctioned with fine, suspended points decuction

“There is a marginal element that are behaving in this way. It’s about all of us uniting to get rid of this element,” Di Pietro told reporters on Wednesday.

“We ask every Melbourne Victory fan to unite. Our message is clear and simple – no more flares, no more anti-social behaviour.

“Enough is enough.

“We ask the true Melbourne Victory fans to stand with us and eradicate anti-social behaviour. The true fans want this to come to an end,” he added.

A general view of AAMI Park during Saturday night's Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory clash.

Victory was hit with the same penalty that was handed down to fellow Hyundai A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers last week.

Club CEO Ian Robson confirmed the club would not appeal the sanctions.

“We came to a decision very quickly not to appeal. We felt it was important to move quickly to resolve this matter before Friday [game against Adelaide United],” he said.

“There will be significantly heightened protocols to enter the stadium on Friday night for the benefit of everyone.

“Everyone has to be involved in the solution. If it takes fans extra time to enter the venue, it’s a small price to pay.”

Victory boss Kevin Muscat says he’s been left feeling “deflated” over the whole saga.

Kevin Muscat was left disappointed following his side's 1-1 draw with Western Sydney.

“The live atmosphere at a Melbourne Victory game is unrivalled, but anti-social behaviour must stop,” he said.

“The players have almost become reliant on the amazing support. I plead with everyone to eliminate the bad behaviour.”

Victory midfielder Leigh Broxham spoke on behalf of the squad. 

“As a playing group, we now have three points hanging over our heads. We work ever so hard and now those three points are in jeopardy.”