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Calls for East Anglian Derby to be moved to normal kick-off time after pub granted 6am alcohol licence

PUBLISHED: 15:22 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:37 24 August 2018

James Maddison scores for Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match at Portman Road, Ipswich in 2017. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

James Maddison scores for Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match at Portman Road, Ipswich in 2017. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Some football fans are calling for the East Anglian derby to be moved back to a normal kick off time after a pub was granted a licence to serve alcohol from 6am.

The Station Hotel, traditionally an away fans pub, opposite Ipswich Railway Station, will be able to serve alcohol to City fans six hours before the noon kick off of the upcoming East Anglian Derby at Portman Road on September 2.

The derby clash has been moved back to midday Sunday kick-offs during recent seasons, largely in a bid to minimise any trouble between opposing fans.

Suffolk Police said all Temporary Event Notices (TENs) were judged on their merits and insisted that with an experienced licensee and a previous record of good conduct there were no grounds to reject the application.

But following the decision to allow the some fans have called for a permanent change to the time of the fixture.

Robin Sainty, chairman of the Canaries Trust, said: “I think if you speak to the majority of supporters they would say they probably want it back on a Saturday.

“The reason the police say they want the game played at lunch time is because they don’t want people to have as much time to drink beforehand and then they allow the Station Hotel to have a licence from 6am.”

He added: “It makes no sense to me.

“I would certainly support a move back to normal kick off times. Other big matches are played at normal times so why are we subject to this restriction.”

Other fans took to social media to voice their support for the fixture to be moved.

Julian Hughes tweeted: “sometimes u have to make a stance , if they can open a pub for them for 6 hours then the match should be moved back to a sat 3pm , it’s only my opinion.”

Steve Lewis tweeted: “I totally agree with everything you say Jules... no one wants a midday kick off on a Sunday, not Ipswich or Norwich fans... I wanted them in the Carabao cup because that can’t be moved to a Sunday lunch time. No other Derby is forced down this route.”

While in a post on the Pink Un message board, AJ said: “Absolutely ludicrous for this to have been approved. Who on earth needs the ability to serve alcohol at 6am in the morning? Should go back to the old 12pm onwards rule!”

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