Ann Budge takes a stand against fan disorder in Hearts-Hibs derbies: 'This is the worst I've seen'

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The Tynecastle chairwoman has spoken out after the recent Edinburgh derby

The Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge is calling on both Edinburgh clubs to unite and ban troublemakers from their grounds following last week's derby scenes. Hibs fans threw missiles including a corkscrew at Tynecastle striker Lawrence Shankland, with objects thrown by supporters becoming all-too-commonplace during meetings between the sides.

Budge is determined to weed out those with malicious intent and ensure they are not allowed back inside Tynecastle. She wants the Hibs hierarchy to do likewise at Easter Road and admitted both clubs must take responsibility for a minority of people within their own support base who will seek to break the law.

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The Edinburgh businesswoman labelled last week's scenes the worst of her 10-year tenure as chairwoman of Hearts. "It is not the first time in my last 10 years that this has come up but it might be the worst, I think. One thing we can definitely do is make sure we identify the perpetrators if we can," she said.

"We all have expensive CCTV kit so it's about really following through on that and demonstrating to people that 'sorry, that really is not acceptable and no, you won’t be allowed back'. So being firm is important. I don’t know how we stop it all getting in because you can’t strip search 18,000 or 19,000 people.

"I don’t know what conversations have gone on because I have been on holiday. I think the heads of security of the two clubs have been talking. All I know is my view and others’ view, which is: Take how long it takes to identify the individuals involved and let’s stand together and make sure they are not allowed back in.

"It is really important. It is not one set of fans and not the other. I was watching the game even though I was not here, and I know comments were made about Hearts fans throwing things as well and it is true. We have to work together. We have the same problem. Nobody wants it."

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Hearts and Hibs have drawn praise for their reciprocal agreement to give away fans a full stand for Edinburgh derby fixtures. In Glasgow, Rangers and Celtic supporters have been absent from games against one another due to a stand-off between club officials over ticketing arrangements. Budge stressed she wants to avoid a repeat in the Capital.

"Nobody wants that, but equally we cannot just sit back and wait for a bad incident," she remarked. "Both clubs work together very well in lots of areas. We both have to really take it seriously, because it really isn’t just one club.

"As we all know, there is a small minority who do these things and it is not the majority, so we just have to get our act together as two clubs and work together. If something happens like that, we do everything we can to identify who the individuals were and be very firm about it."

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