The fallout from “YSAGate” continues.
In the latest twist to the “pay to behave” saga, one of the New York Red Bulls three supporters groups have officially rejected the team’s offer. That group? the Garden State Ultras (or “GSU”).
If you haven’t been following the story, a two-year pursuit by Major League Soccer to end “YSA” (or the “You Suck @sshole!” chant which prominently features in soccer stadiums throughout America) reached a head this week as the New York Red Bulls took an innovative stance in stopping the chant. Red Bull offered each of the three supporters groups $500 per game for every match that the chant is not used. The money would be payable in $2,000 increments, to be used at the supporters club’s discretion.
The largest and oldest of the supporters groups, the Empire Supporters Club, have come out strongest in support of the team’s efforts. Board member Eric Rios was on the Seeing Red! Podcast to discuss “YSAGate” and explained that all “supporters groups have agreed to do away with YSA.”
Well, someone forgot to inform the Garden State Ultras – Red Bull’s smallest but arguably most hardcore fan group.
In a statement on their Facebook page, GSU leader Christopher Vidaic posted a surprising update from the club:
** Attention all GSU brothers and sisters **
A decision has been made regarding the future of our club. From this day forth GSU will not be accepting a single penny from the FO or Redbull. This of course will result in a lot of friction between us and the FO. But we stand strong together. This is our club, our city, our family. We will not be censored, we will not be bought.
The rest of the statement reads like a wartime plea for strength through the coming attrition as leadership fully expects the backlash to be severe:
During these trying times all we ask of you is to come hard. Come out, support your club and hold your head high and sing loud! It is recommended that all GSU members wear a bandana or some face cover for the upcoming games. As we all know the FO is on the lookout for “inappropriate” language and behavior. We say fuck them! We will not be censored.
As far as YSA go’s, we think its a lame ass chant but, if you feel the need to do it to let the FO know there pieces of shit have at it.
United we stand divided we fall!
This wouldn’t be the first time GSU went against the grain. Philosophical differences within the South Ward two years ago led the club to relocate their supporters to the upper deck of Red Bull Arena in a show of defiance.
While a veritable “six-pointer” awaits New York when they host the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Impact this weekend, all eyes will be in the stands for the next twist in this “YSA” story.