A tifo announcement

A tifo announcement,

The Cove – Tifo Announcement

We hope you all have thoroughly enjoyed the past few days. We have no intention of dampening spirits but when necessary, we must shed light publicly on issues we as a home end are facing.

At Sydney, we pride ourselves on our tifo displays. We are always looking at pushing the boundaries and incorporating new unique elements which have not been seen before. It was decided early on in our history that if we aren’t producing tifos, then what are we doing? A tifo is the ultimate way for a home end to display how real their passion is. To produce them, a home end must work hard to earn money from merchandise sales and fundraisers. A tifo creation is always in motion. They then take large amounts of time and hard work from volunteers. It is, put simply, complete and utter dedication.

All tifos go through an approval process. This has been the case for several years. No approval comes without hurdles, but we generally get things over the line in an appropriate manner and actively engage to work with all parties on accepting reasonable modifications. However, over the past two months and in the middle of the season, we have suffered through a new approval process that was thrown at us with no warning and did not incorporate us, the fans, at all. This came as a direct result of WSW’s failure to properly plan their fan groups’ tifo. It caused both the APL and VenuesNSW to over-prioritise their prevention to be put at fault rather than take a balanced approach between themselves and us. We were told it was their intention to create a “unified” system across the entire league. We are happy and open to this notion. We look forward to being part of a structure that we can refer to and copy for years to come. However, a new approach must be crafted correctly with all stakeholders involved.

It was also mentioned that another reason for us being subjected to a new tifo approval structure was because both the APL and VenuesNSW had undergone several staff changes in the past year. Does that indicate that in the future when natural staff changes do occur, we will have to suffer through an entirely new process again? Overall, we feel it was unfair to implement large unannounced changes in the middle of a season, to the point where it felt like we were being punished, when we have historically had next to zero issues with the tifo approval process.

Before we go into issues placed upon us by 3rd parties, we want to remind everyone of both the financial and time commitment that goes into the production of these. Tifo creation is already an extremely difficult process which is often in a battle with time. If you add further major hurdles, then the stress to produce ultimately is no longer worth it. We are dissatisfied with both the APL and VenuesNSW in their inability to support fans who work so hard on tifos. We are people with lives, work and families who sacrifice our free time to produce these. We shouldn’t be forced to battle organisations with paid employees to provide something which elevates an atmosphere and sets our game apart from the rest. So, as you read the issues, we ask kindly you keep this in mind.

We now present the “Grit Behind the Glamour” of our tifo display on the weekend which ultimately drives an unwanted but important decision.

  1. The APL refused the use of the word “Wanderer,” so we had to substitute it with “Enemy.”

  2. VenuesNSW rejected the use of plastic builders film for black scarves, citing fire risk concerns. All materials are sprayed with fire retardant, which is both time consuming and costly. However, we have always done this procedure for the benefit of the relationship with all parties. To proceed with the display, we were told to use black cotton scarves. These cost approximately five times more. However, we accepted the change in the interest of getting it approved. After making the change, Sydney FC informed us that the cotton scarves were not approved either, jeopardising our scarf display. We clarified that we wouldn’t proceed with the tifo unless the scarves were approved. An agreement was reached when we offered to have six helpers pack up scarves after the tifo.

  3. The Cove had to complete a risk assessment without any assistance or instructions provided.

  4. In the approved risk assessment dated 28/3/24, we specified the need for people to stand behind each timber. However, during a club meeting last Wednesday, we were informed that there was no way VenuesNSW would permit standing on the LED or modifying the mesh tarp in the front two rows despite it not being laid out yet. After pushing back, the club agreed to inquire about either modifying the mesh tarp, allowing two people to stand on the LED solely for the tifo display, or having two people sit on the mesh tarp for the tifo display. VenuesNSW did not respond to our requests throughout Thursday. On Friday, the day before the tifo, all our requests were denied. They illogically suggested the tifo be free-standing (not against the LED) so that people could stand behind it. They told us that we could trial it on the day and if it didn’t work then they would be willing to work with us to find a solution. We instinctively declined this offer as we lacked confidence in their ability to collaborate with us, and for safety reasons, we needed a clear plan. Our CEO intervened, contacting VenuesNSW, which led to the situation being resolved within 30 minutes. The mesh tarp was modified. The same suggestion from two different parties and each with unique outcomes. Was it the suggestions they were denying, or was it the people asking them?

  5. Our tifo/message banner was leaked to the RBB, who subsequently posted it on their stories. It’s ironic that a group claiming to be anti-establishment appears to have close ties with those in power. This is the second instance of such a leak, with the first being confirmed by the APL. The APL promised to complete a thorough investigation. Nothing ever came from it.

  6. Minutes before our tifo was scheduled to be displayed, a club representative informed us that the APL directed us to not proceed with our full tifo due to the awful attack in Bondi. Despite our remaining belief that our tifo display had no connection to those events, it’s remarkable how the original banner we submitted would have been less related to the situation than the “necessary” change mandated by the APL. We adamantly refused to comply with the directive (We told them to get fucked!).

To summarise, the challenges posed by third-party processes, coupled with the repeated breaches of confidentiality and the unsettling prospect of last-minute tifo cancellations by the APL, have left us unable to confidently invest our time and resources into future tifos. Until we feel assured about the reliability of the existing systems, we have decided not to proceed with any further tifo displays. We will resume our tifo activities only when we are satisfied with the procedures in place.

As we will continue to raise funds through merchandise sales, we believe it’s important to maintain transparency regarding the allocation of your contributions. We will persist in dedicating these funds to enhancements within the home end, including the procurement of new banners, flags, and equipment such as megaphones and drums. In due course, we aspire to redirect our funds towards tifos, with an ongoing commitment to elevating the standard of our displays.

Thank you for your understanding.

The Cove


That’s utterly fucked. The Cove are by far the best active support in the league, in the country, and up there on the world stage for getting this shit across the line in spite of the complete lack of professionalism displayed by the relevant authorities. The APL needs to take a good hard look at themselves and remember what it is that makes our product even worth selling to a broadcaster in the first place.

Thank god our CEO, at least, is willing to back the Tifo crew up.


You definitely have our support. Tifos add so much to the atmosphere. Needing to replace the word ‘Wanderer’ with ‘Enemy’ is just weird as well. Hopefully this can all be sorted before the start of next season.


This message and the clear and transparent way it’s being explained to us is much appreciated and you all continue to have my full support and I will gladly continue spending money on merch wherever possible even without the prospect of future tifos in the near future.


With the cooler weather, I was thinking I need a new game day hoodie anyway.

Fuck me dead… APL shooting themselves in the foot as usual. Perhaps if we all sat quietly and applauded whenever the “applause” light comes on?

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Despite how frustrating and difficult being an active fan in this league is, you always put your heart out and create an amazing atmosphere. Best active fan base, you guys will always have my support.


As always, massive well done to the cove leadership for a measured and level headed response. All this in the face of yes minister levels of hoops to jump through and brain dead red tape.

This is not a reflection at all on the cove or all the other active fans who do their best in hostile conditions, but fuck I’m close to done with supporting this league.

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I think this is the active support they (APL/Venues NSW) are angling for:


The hoops that you guys and gals have to actively (pardon the pun) jump through is ridiculous.

I understand there needing to be an approval process (although it still beggars belief how the Wanderers have gotten through some of their displays over the years - The Arnie cock sucking one comes to mind - again, pardon the pun), but this just smacks of the APL once again as we’ve seen time and time again failing to support the #1 stakeholders, the fans.

It smacks of the APL caving to the mainstream media and nanny state do-gooders who seek to actively put down and stamp on football as a sport, it’s culture and its fan base. The APL/FA cave way too easily from these outside voices who demonise our sport for not being “family friendly”.

It’s utterly ridiculous. VenuesNSW I suspect are probably behind this, and its another foul taste of issues arising with our club in this new stadium.

Why did they have an issue with the term Wanderer? Did they think it would somehow incite violence with the RBB?

Why would the material of scarves be an issue if they’re already coated with fire retardant? And why then tell you to change to cotton scarves only to turn around later and say actually that’s not a ceptable either. Like the onfield referees and VAR its making shit up as they go along.

I also don’t understand how “staffing changes” result in a brand new process being laid out without adequate consultation and communication.

I think its fantastic that the club has stood up, backed and supported you where they can, but as mentioned before, this smacks of bullshit from VNSW who are trying to stamp out any sort of activity/engagement they don’t consider family friendly.

The last minute call to cancel the tifo based on the horrific stabbings up the road just smacks of VNSW opportunistically using the tragedy to further their agenda of “family friendly”. I could perhaps understand the request had it come from NSW Police, especially since the incident was literally up the road. But unless the tifo was like the Freddy Kruger one, displayed knoves, or a grraphic image like somebody being impaled, there is no way anyone with halft an ounce of intellegence would interpret the tifo as violent or encouraging violence.

I understand, respect and love the effort that goes into the displays, and it really sets our club out from the rest. But with this bullshit meddling by VNSW that stinks of just another angle for the anti-football bashers to stick the boot in, I completely understand and sympathise with the decision.

I hope it’s just a temporary decision and setback, and hope that the 24/25 season we can look forward to appreciating your hard work and dedication.


I understand the sentiment, and whilst I don’t hold much (if any) faith, trust, or hope in the people who run our league, I’ll keep supporting our club through thick and thin.

Because the person who left was the one who dealt with tifos and when he left the process left with him…in his head, because they’re a bunch of fucking two-bob amateur hour twats who couldn’t run a bloody chook raffle without hiring two avian redistribution consultants.


Surely this requires a boycott? :wink:

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Was the blue Wests Tigers thing a comment on Western Sydney being blue?

One of the more… cerebral tifos, if so…