The stoush between Brisbane Roar and active supporter group The Den has reached boiling point, with the club announcing they'll stop "facilitating active support" at matches until future notice.
The decision comes after "abuse" a Brisbane Roar club official allegedly received from members of the active supporter group, when trying to stop offensive chanting during a recent match against Perth Glory.
The club say they attempted to stop members of The Den chanting "F*** FFA" when their staffer faced a "tidal wave of abuse and swearing" from their own active support.
"There was an incident at the recent home game against Perth Glory that has created friction between the Club and The Den Steering Committee," Brisbane Roar said in a statement.
"Without going into too much detail, the incident involved several offensive chants culminating in a final chant of 'F*** the FFA'.
"When a BRFC staff member approached The Den leadership team on duty that day, it was met with a tidal wave of abuse and swearing by other members of The Den.
"This action was unacceptable and caused great distress, however, The Den Steering Committee has accused BRFC of “censoring” the chants they use because one of our staff members pointed out that 'F***' is offensive.
"As a consequence, The Den has issued ultimatums and are refusing to provide "Active Support" until they are met."
Brisbane Roar are the latest A-League club to have their active supporter group fold this season, after similar action by fan groups for Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City.
Western Sydney Wanderers have also faced persistent issues over use of the "F*** FFA" chant. Despite improving from lows of under-10,000 people per match two seasons ago, Brisbane Roar's average attendances have plunged since highs of over 18,000 a few years ago.
In response, The Den released their own statement on the group's official Facebook page, accusing the club of censoring its fans and claiming The Den was always planning to disband at the end of this season.
"Rather than engage with us about the serious concerns we raised regarding club interference in active support and censorship of fans, we have today been notified by an email from club management that their ongoing relationship with the Steering Group is ‘untenable’ and that the Club is choosing to ‘remove’ their support of the Steering Group as of today," the statement read.
"We understand the Club will soon issue a statement in this regard.
"While we had always intended to step down at the end of this season given the issues we have been dealing with behind the scenes for the last couple of years, it is disappointing that the club has taken this course of action seemingly for no other reason than to avoid tackling serious issues raised on behalf of active supporters.
"We anticipate that, given the close relationship between the Roar Supporters Federation and the Club, the RSF will become involved in active support to host a ‘fan forum’ to open up ideas on active support moving forward.
We will of course assist with a transition to any new management/model/set up that comes out of that and wish those next involved in Den logistics the best of luck.
"We trust that anyone else to become involved will put the interests of active support of our players first, and look forward to seeing the outcomes of the censorship debate moving forward."