Radical Melbourne Victory fans who stormed the pitch moments after Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover threw a flare into the crowd are part of a militant group of troublemakers.
The Melbourne Derby descended into chaos on Saturday night as fans – who were already furious with the A-League‘s decision to move the grand final to Sydney – invaded the pitch at AAMI Park on the 21st minute.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal several of the men arrested over the disgraceful scenes wore t-shirts bearing the name ‘Original Style Melbourne’ – a powerful group of Victory mega fans who believe they own the A-League.
A fan dubbed ‘Bucket Man’ (pictured) was wearing an Original Style Melbourne t-shirt when he allegedly attacked Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover
A man holding a flare wore a Horda t-shirt. Horda was the original rogue terrace group to shame Melbourne Victory in the early 2000s
Glover, 24, was left bloodied after being struck in the face with a bin and the match was abandoned over fears for player safety.
The man who allegedly hit him with the bucket was wearing the distinctive OSM t-shirt.
Others pictured running onto the field armed with flares wore the word ‘Horda’ – the original Victory terrace group which sullied the game more than a decade ago.
OSM was born out of Horda after police briefly cracked down on a simmering fan war in 2011.
Back then, four men from a Melbourne Heart terrace gang were charged with conspiracy to falsely imprison a Victory fan after they were found waiting in a carpark allegedly armed with baseball bats, gloves, balaclavas, duct tape and handcuffs.
Police at the time alleged the Melbourne Heart supporters were planning to abduct a Horda member they suspected of stealing their group’s banner and displaying it upside down under a Horda banner.
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting that any of the persons depicted or named in this article were the Melbourne Heart supporters who were planning to abduct the Horda member.
Victory management at the time banned Horda members from displaying their banner, which saw the group reform under a different name.
In 2016, the North Terrace group, which was largely made-up from Victory radicals, was forced to disband after the league made it near impossible for them to congregate in large numbers at games.
OSM was born out of the demise of the North Terrace, condemning Melbourne soccer fans to relentless hooliganism in the years that followed.
On Sunday, OSM took to social media condemning the behaviour of ‘a minority of active fans’.
This image of Horda members parading a Melbourne Heart terrace group’s banner upside down led to an abduction attempt
OSM members proudly display their rotten antics on social media. Shown here lighting flares just outside the MCG
OSM members ‘muzz’ their identity to avoid arrest. The player shown is not a member of the OSM group
WHY VICTORY THUGS ATTACKED
Since the A-League started in 2005, clubs have needed to earn the right to host the grand final based on how they performed in the finals series. The NSW decision flies in the face of A-League tradition.
Last week, supporter groups across the country lashed out at the deal – worth $10million – and announced their intention to voice their opposition by leaving games on the 20-minute mark.
On Friday night, Newcastle Jets fans left in their droves during their side’s 1-0 defeat by Brisbane Roar, with a banner reading: ‘Fans > $$’ displayed.
Football Australia released a statement shortly after the game was abandoned, condemning the ‘shocking scenes’ that unfolded in Melbourne.
‘Following shocking scenes during the first half of the A-League Men’s match between Melbourne Victory FC and Melbourne City FC at AAMI Park on Saturday 17 December, where fans from the Melbourne Victory FC end entered the field of play, Football Australia match officials have abandoned the match in accordance with Law 5.3 of the Laws of the Game in order to protect the integrity of the match.
‘Such behaviour has no place in Australian Football, with a full Football Australia investigation to commence immediately, where strong sanctions to be handed down.’
The group had been stirring a hornet’s nest of hatred against the league for days in protest over a three-year deal it made to hold the grand final in Sydney.
‘Our protest yesterday was intended to unite all fans. A vital element of the campaign against the APL decision, was that the walkout and protest remained peaceful, so as not to take away and distract from our argument,’ OSM ringleaders posted to Facebook.
‘OSM leadership fully understand the genuine sadness, anger and frustration at what happened last night. The events which transpired, although uncontrollable, happened under our watch, and we take full responsibility for that.’
Just days earlier, the group warned the league it had made a ‘grave mistake’ going ahead with the plans.
‘The fans of this league must unite against this tyranny. We need to stand now, or we are forever as spineless as they are,’ it posted leading up to Saturday’s match.
‘Silence is acceptance of this corrupt deal. Do the right thing. Nothing has ever been won in this country by idly sitting by.
‘Which side of football history in this country is your group gonna stand on?
‘The group which backs down and enables the executives to make completely anti-supporter decisions, with ZERO consultation from the fans, and sets an extremely dangerous precedent for our game… or; The group which FIGHTS BACK and takes a stand against it, and wins.’
While the group publicly urged fans to walk out of Saturday’s match after 20 minutes and boycott the finals, some instead decided to ruin the entire match and throw Australian soccer into chaos.
Ordinary Victory fans were scathing of OSM’s latest post, accusing organisers of protecting the alleged thugs who wore its t-shirts as they invaded the pitch.
‘Glad you guys come out and said something, but what’s being done to point out the perpetrators to the club?’ one man wrote.
‘Especially those who assaulted Glover and the Ref? I’ve always supported you guys. Now it’s time you support the club by handing the perps in.’
OSM had branded anyone who didn’t obey their call on Saturday a ‘scab’
OSM hit social media to rant about its displeasure at the league for selling off the Grand Final to Sydney
OSM members show their fanatical support by tattooing the group’s emblem onto their bodies
Others were scathing of the group’s thuggery behind the goals.
‘Thank you for destroying our beautiful game in this country. The actions of your members has sent us back decades and now the mainstream media will demonise our sport for the foreseeable future,’ another person responded.
‘This statement and ‘apology’ is so weak, nothing meaningful behind it. Disband and stay out of the sport we love. Thanks for destroying football along with the APL.’
Some accused OSM of having no intentions of staging a peaceful protest.
‘How can you sit there and say that the walkout and protest were the only plans? Not one of you left at the 20th minute. You all stayed to unleash the absolute mayhem that took place. It was members of your area, decked out in your merch, that ran onto the pitch,’ one fan wrote.
‘You had the audacity to play supreme leader and dictate to every active group in the league to walk out, yet you couldn’t even hold up your end of the bargain. You have destroyed this club, which means so much to everyone, with no regard. You don’t represent us, yet we’re all now tarnished because of your actions.’
Victoria Police has already charged three men over the pitch invasion after releasing dozens of images of people it wished to speak with over the incident.
A 23-year-old Craigieburn resident, who wore an OSM t-shirt, was charged on Monday over the bucket-throwing attack on Glover.
He has been charged with violent disorder, discharge missile, intent to cause injury, recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault, invading the pitch, disrupting a match, public nuisance and riotous behaviour.
Melbourne Victory fans stormed onto the pitch moments after a flare was launched at them
Fans responded by encroaching the pitch and attacking the 24-year-old goalkeeper
He was left bloodied and the game was swiftly abandoned over fears for player safety
Police from Operation Astute revealed bottles were thrown at members of the Victoria Police public order response team and about 50 flares were lit in the stands.
Four men were injured, including the goalkeeper, cameraman and two security guards, leaving a $120,000 damage bill.
In a statement the APL, which runs the A-League, said the events ‘demonstrated that a small minority of people with criminal intent hide within our game’.
‘They neither understand nor love our game,’ the statement said.
‘What they do understand is how to use our game as a platform for their anti-social and illegal objectives.
‘This is a watershed moment for our game that demands a zero tolerance for the incidents that we witnessed last night and the kind of people that perpetrated them.
‘Our clubs will work deliberately and exhaustively, hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies, and with Football Australia – as the game’s regulator – to ensure that our game can never again be used as camouflage for criminals.’
Now, footage has shown how the pent-up supporters’ violent reaction after Glover threw a flare back into the stands during the 20th minute protest against the NSW deal.
Picking up the flare that made its way onto the pitch, Glover launched it into the stand behind the goal and, within seconds, the fans broke through the advertising boards and onto the pitch.
City confirmed that Glover has likely suffered a concussion and was receiving treatment in the dressing room.
Horda banners are routinely paraded at Victory games to this very day
A pitch invader dons an OSM t-shirt during Saturday’s game
Fans sporting the OSM t-shirt are seen invading the pitch on Saturday