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Extra segregation to avoid East Lancs derby trouble
MISSILE throwing by fans at last season’s East Lancashire derby at Ewood Park has led to extra segregation measures at the game next month.
Blackburn Rovers take on Burnley on Sunday, March 9, and the usual high-profile police safety measures will be in place.
However, Rovers have announced extra segregation in a bid to cut supporters’ unrest.
A spokesman for the club said: “Blackburn Rovers Football Club, together with Lancashire Police, wants to minimise the possibility of a repeat of the disorder that occurred at last season’s home fixture against Burnley, where a confrontation took place between rival sets of supporters in the corners of the stadium where they were located closest together.
“Missiles, including coins and seats, were thrown between the two sets of fans resulting in a number of personal injuries.”
The club has also announced that season ticket holders in the Darwen End will not be able to relocate to the Riverside Stand, because of problems last year.
The spokesman said: “We also had complaints last season from season ticket holders in the RFS Riverside Stand regarding the anti-social behaviour of a large number of supporters, who were not normally in that stand, which caused alarm and distress throughout the game.
“The club has worked with police to draw up a plan for the allocation of seats for both sets of supporters, aimed at minimising the potential for confrontation, which unfortunately will mean that there are some restrictions on where seats will be available for supporters who are seeking to relocate for this game.
“It is unfortunate that such restrictions are having to be imposed, but safety has to be the paramount consideration in respect of this game.”
Police confirmed the operation outside the ground would be similar to previous years, with Burnley fans bussed in from Turf Moor and taken directly to the Darwen End.
Supt Jon Puttock said: “We are working closely with both football clubs as we put plans in place for the policing operation at Ewood Park.
“At our recommendation, both clubs have agreed to use the same travel arrangements which have previously been adopted, meaning the Burnley fans will travel to Ewood Park on designated coaches.
“The policing priority for us is simple, to ensure the safety of the supporters and of those involved in the game.”
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