Derby warning to soccer thugs

FOOTBALL thugs have been warned to stay away from next month's powder keg Preston clash.

The news comes as a website associated with Blackpool hooligan group The Muckers claims more than 800 fans will turn up at North End's Deepdale ground without tickets.

The message board also claims some Blackpool fans are considering infiltrating home stands – as the Seasiders' 2,800 ticket allocation fails to meet demand.

PC Ian Berry of Blackpool Police said: "If any Blackpool fans are found in the Preston end then details will be taken and I will approach Blackpool Football Club to try to get them banned.

"Home tickets are being sold through the club to members and season ticket holders and it's extremely unlikely there would be any left to go on general sale so we should be able to trace most fans who are in the ground.

"If people are travelling without a ticket, it's not like the game's on Sky and they can use the excuse they want to be in the city to watch it for the atmosphere.

"We would assume they were in the area to get involved in undesirable behaviour."

Pubs in Preston have been told not to open until midday on December 8 with those nearest to the ground being warned not to begin serving until 12.30pm – the same time as kick-off.

Match Commander Insp Richard Cox said: "We want to make it as safe as possible for genuine fans.

"If Preston fans get tickets in the home end for Blackpool and they are found with them then we will trace that back and they will be stopped from buying tickets in future."