POLICE today backed a Blackpool fan's plan to turn his Preston pub tangerine on derby day – despite uproar from fans.
Stuart Culley, general manager of the historic Assembly pub, wants to fill his pub with Blackpool memorabilia when the Seasiders play local rivals Preston North End on April 11.
And police have given the move their backing, ignoring widespread criticism from some supporters.
Chief Inspector Nicky Evans said: "Preston Police were made aware of Mr Culley's intentions to welcome the away fans and we offered him our support as everyone has a right to enjoy the day.
"However, if anyone chooses to use this as an excuse to engage in disorder then they should be warned that they will be dealt with robustly.
"There will be a high profile policing operation for this fixture to ensure that fans of both clubs can enjoy a trouble-free day."
Mr Culley's plans to reduce fan trouble by providing a haven for Seasiders fans has caused extensive debate on websites both in Blackpool and Preston.
One said: "It seems to be an odd thing to do as nobody in business would want to alienate their customers."
Another poster from Cleveleys, said: "If somebody opened up a Preston North End pub in the centre of Blackpool called 'Finney's' or something, with white shirts all over the place, would I go in? The answer is a resounding NO."
White_star, from Preston, added: "No problem with there being a designated away pub, but sticking up tangerine balloon and shirts is plain stupid and asking for trouble."
But some fans gave the decision their backing.
Posting on The Gazette website, Mr President added: "You're always going to get the odd fruitcake who wants to cause trouble but they are firmly in the minority. As long as Stuart keeps a decent pint, he shouldn't have any problems."
Mr Culley warned the event would be carried out under police supervision.
He said: "We have a great relationship with the police and they're supporting us. So there's no chance there could be any bother."