A ROW has erupted after the anticipated rise in the cost of policing Lancashire’s senior football clubs looks set to reach £1million.

Lancashire’s police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw is arguing that the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Burnley and Accrington Stanley should fork out more for keeping order at their fixtures.

But Hyndburn MP Graham Jones has objected to the demand - and questioned why Mr Grunshaw is not seeking to recoup the £7million costs of policing fracking protests instead.

This season the bill, around £700,000 last year, is set to rise to approximately £977,000, with the promotion of Chorley to the National League and more stay-away fans returning to watch Blackpool.

The figure could be higher when cup games are also factored in, according to the commissioner.

Last year, the police commissioner’s office recouped £530,000 from the clubs and it is expected £593,000 will be clawed back in 2019-20, leaving a £384,000 shortfall.

Mr Grunshaw has called on clubs to pay their “fair share” of the burden, after a legal ruling determined what police forces could bill clubs for.

He said: “Fans expect to feel safe on their way in and out of grounds and this is often where trouble can flare up.

“Football clubs last year generated record amounts with Premier League clubs enjoying over £5bn in revenue. Some of these record profits should be directed towards making sure fans and the wider public are safe in and around football grounds.

“For clubs to experience record profits whilst Lancashire Constabulary picks up the tab isn’t fair to the hardworking taxpayers of Lancashire.”

The commissioner has written to all Lancashire MPs, urging them to back his demands for a rule change, to allow all of the costs to be recouped.

But Mr Jones, a regular at Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers, said: “Why should football fans have to pay out when the fracking protests cost Lancashire Police £7million.

“Fracking protesters won’t have to pay for all of the disruption they caused on the streets of Lancashire. The commissioner should be looking at how we recoup costs from that, rather than football fans.”

The policing charges currently apply to Rovers, Burnley, Accrington Stanley, Preston North End, Fleetwood Town, Morecambe, AFC Fylde and Chorley.