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in response to Christheram: I agree, I don't think there is a big problem - but the example I gave is from earlier this season - which along with monkbar's experience suggests there is a persistent problem with a small minority - maybe only one. The abuse I heard dished out to the officials was pretty extreme beyond a few swear words. Perhaps I shouldn't have turned a blind eye - but the club appear to be picking up the message about more visible and proactive stewarding. hopefully monkbar's family will give it another try and have a better experience.
Interesting to read monkbar's post on abusive language. I had a similar experience taking a friend to watch from the South Stand. There is a small group of Rams supporters, but one person in particular that spend the whole game screaming vile abuse at the referee and linesman. I thought at the time that nobody else appeared bothered, but clearly people are. Its unrealistic however to expect individuals to spoil their enjoyment of the game further by getting into an argument with aggressive people. All people swear, including myself - but the really bad abuse clearly does impact on the image of the club and its ability to attract and keep new support. I now watch from the seats, but my friend hasn't been back.