Warning issued to Norwich City fans over derby day tickets
08:57 21 August 2014
Copyright Ashley Pickering
Norwich City fans have been warned not to try to buy tickets in home areas for Saturday’s local derby.
Portman Road’s capacity is just over 30,000 and an Ipswich Town spokesman said the club had sold more than 23,500 tickets to Blues fans as of yesterday, with Norwich City’s allocation of 2,000 tickets already sold out.
A club spokesman said it was an all-ticket match, with no tickets available on the day.
Ipswich Town spokesman Steve Pearce said the club had stepped up measures to prevent Canaries’ fans buying tickets for seats designated for home supporters at Portman Road.
He said: “Only Blues fans who have bought tickets, memberships or season tickets from the club in their own name or customer number over the last 10 years can buy tickets online. Our staff are well trained in dealing with fans from other clubs trying to buy home tickets. We do our best to check that people are genuine fans, but there’s only so much we can do to prevent fans from other clubs buying home tickets.”
Away supporters face the possibility of being escorted out of the stadium on match day if they are seated in areas designated for Town fans.
Extra police will be on duty on Saturday with officers from Norfolk and Suffolk working alongside British Transport Police.
It comes after the policing operation at the last derby match at Portman Road three years ago was criticised by Norwich supporters’ groups for being “inadequate”, and for unnecessarily compromising the safety of supporters.
Police are urging supporters to get to the ground early for the eagerly-anticipated Championship fixture to avoid congestion.
Policing operations commander, Inspector Matt Rose, hopes that both sets of supporters enjoy the game – which is the first since the 2010–11 season following Norwich’s relegation from the Premier League in May – in a “responsible and respectful way.” He said: “We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol-fuelled disorder.”
Suffolk police initially requested that the match be moved to a noon kick-off on Sunday, to minimise any trouble. But the request sparked concern from the Norwich City Supporters’ Trust, and the original date was kept.