Manager Paul Simpson spoke about the difficult situation facing both the club and the fans with the decision having to be made to close a small section of the Paddock following concerns over safety in light of recent incidents in that area of the stadium.
“It’s been a difficult thing for the club to do, and it isn’t pleasant,” he said. “I know the club have been racking their brains over the past couple of weeks since the Orient game about the best way to resolve it.
“We’re being investigated by the FA over that and another incident, which also isn’t pleasant. It tarnishes the club’s reputation and more importantly it tarnishes the reputation of the majority of our supporters, who are superb.
“There’s been lots of discussions going on, I haven’t been involved in them, but I know the fan groups have been involved and they all understood the measures that had to be taken.
“We know it will upset some people but it’s the right thing to do because it has gone too far. It went too far at the Orient game and I’ve been on the receiving end of some vile abuse at other grounds.
“I can take it and people can say what they like about me, I’m at a football game stood in a technical area, so it’s normal, even though I’m not saying it’s right.
“It goes to a level where people are starting to make sexual comments about wives, daughters and mums, which just isn’t acceptable. It wouldn’t be acceptable in any other walk of life, I don’t care where you work, it would not be acceptable.
“We are living in a country with better standards than that in my opinion, and it just shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately the club have had to do something, so let’s see what happens.
“I know somebody might have stood in that spot for the past 20 or 30 years, we’re just asking you to move to the left or right which will hopefully stop the abuse and things going too far. That has got to be good for our football club.”
“I’m going to talk about basic brass tacks,” he continued. “I’ve said this before, and this isn’t me complaining, but we are not awash with money at this football club.
“When we have money available, I’ve been assured it will go to strengthening the squad to make us a better football club, which ultimately will give us better crowds and more revenue and keep us building.
“If we get punished by the FA, that’s coming out of our playing budget, it’s as simple as that. There isn’t a reserve of cash somewhere to pay the FA fines, that comes out of our pot.
“That will affect me and what we can do with this football club. If you see somebody doing something stupid, have a word and sort it out, or speak to a steward.
“Let’s police it ourselves. I always tell the players to look after each other and police the game, let’s get our supporters doing that as well.
“If our average crowd at home is over 5,000, we’re talking about a fraction of a percent of people who are affecting it for everybody else and giving our club a bad name.
“Hopefully this action, although there is a negative feel about it at the moment, let’s hope it has a positive end result and nips it in the bud.
“We’ve had over 1,000 at Stockport and nearly 1,000 at Tranmere, and over 5,000 at home, and they’ve been doing a bloody good job of supporting us. Let’s get back to that and keep it going.”
Speaking more about incidents he himself has witnessed, he told us: “I don’t know what’s going on in our society at the moment.
“I’ve been on the receiving end of this abuse that goes on. Last season Steve Evans wanted to fight me going up the tunnel because of things that the fans were doing to Steve.
“I had to step in during the first half and have a go at our own fans for what they were doing to Steve Evans, it was out of order. For me there’s no place for it.
“This sort of thing would not happen in any other walk of our live - if you’re a plumber, electrician, in the theatre, a rugby or cricket player, it doesn’t happen. I don’t understand why people think it’s acceptable to do it in a football ground.
“If somebody questions my team, my players are not very good, something like that, my tactics - you don’t know what you’re doing is the usual shout - I totally accept that.
“They pay their money, they are perfectly entitled to do that. When you start getting other things, and I’ve heard managers, this hasn’t been a question to me, but managers being questioned about their sexuality.
“I’ve had people questioning things about my wife and my mum, it’s just not acceptable. It wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
“If somebody walks down the street and somebody else comes and starts questioning your mum or wife, chances are there’s going to be a fight. Some people believe it’s totally acceptable to say those things at football. I don’t.
“We’re talking about a fraction, tiny fraction of people, not the majority of our football fans. Our fans on the whole have been magnificent from the day I came back last February.”
“And I accept that players and managers, and the staff, have a massive responsibility in all this as well,” he concluded. “I know it’s an emotional game, we all get excited and carried away and we probably do things we all regret afterwards.
“I still don’t believe there is any line where coins or anything should be thrown. I don’t believe any manager or coach in the technical area could do something that takes it over the edge that you get a coin thrown at you, if that’s true what happened.
“But I totally agree, we have a massive responsibility to behave properly. The players do, and that’s what I try to do, what I speak to our staff and players about.
“One of my big messages before going to Tranmere, a slide on our game plan, big words highlighted at the bottom was ‘Discipline’ because if you haven’t got that on the grass or in the technical area, you make things harder.
“I said to the players, that’s us, as well, that’s me and our staff, we have to have a proper discipline about us. I think that’s important. We have to set an example.
“I’ve had one game this season, or end of last, where I went in the dressing room at half time and apologised to the players. I said I’m asking you to keep your heads, I’ve just lost mine, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.
“We have to do it. We’ve got a responsibility to behave properly. My message to our supporters has been the same since the day I came in.
“Come and support the team and the club, come in and be really vocal and support and encourage the team. I don’t even mind if there’s booing to the opposition.
“But there’s a line. Just have respect for where that line is, behave sensibly and support Carlisle United to the best of your ability.
“With what the club has done, I certainly think some action had to be taken. We can’t just bury our head in the sand and say we’ll be ok. There is a tiny fraction of people who are affecting it for others.
“I get that everybody is a creature of habit. When I used to come with my dad, he used to stand on the same spot on the Warwick Road End, the same railing, and I used to stand in the kids pen, lower down.
“When I was able to get thrown back over the fence and didn’t get taken out by the stick of the guy that looked after the kids pen, I used to sit on the same spot on the railings on there.
“We are creature of habit. So there will be people who will be annoyed at having to move. But we’re talking moving 10-15 yards to your left or right, or back a bit. It isn’t going to change the way the game looks.
“Yes, you don’t have direct access to abuse the opposition dugout or even the home dugout, which I know has happened in the past, and it’s really unfortunate for those people who do behave themselves that a small minority have caused this.
“Sadly that’s the way of the world, that a small minority do spoil it. I don’t get where anybody thinks it’s acceptable behaviour to do the things that have been going on there. Hopefully this nips it in the bud.”