Preston North End express safety concerns over ticketing for derby with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road
Preston North End have stated their concerns after their ticket allocation was reduced for this month's derby against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, while extra tickets have been made available to home supporters on the same side of the stadium.
PNE say they will consult with their supporters before deciding how many tickets to make available to Blackpool fans for the Deepdale return match in March.
Preston’s allocation has been cut to 2,200 for the clubs’ first Championship meeting of the season at Bloomfield Road on October 23.
Barnsley and Blackburn Rovers received 3,000 East Stand tickets for Blackpool’s most recent home games, though Preston have been granted fewer tickets as the match is considered ‘high risk’.
An additional 800 East Stand tickets for the derby went on sale to home fans today.
Ticketing decisions for what will be Preston’s first visit to Bloomfield Road for 12 years rest with Blackpool’s ground safety officer and the police.
Blackpool have experienced problems with crowd disorder at recent home games, including the throwing of pyrotechnics and missiles, and have appealed for an end to such behaviour.
Following complaints by Preston fans, a North End statement released on Wednesday reads: “We echo the disappointment being expressed by our supporters with regard to the away ticket allocation for our upcoming match at Bloomfield Road.
“We have been in regular dialogue with the police and Blackpool Football Club imploring them to give a similar away allocation to us as they had given in recent weeks to Barnsley and Blackburn.
“Ultimately we recognise that it is Blackpool’s home fixture, at their stadium and that they have every right to determine ticketing policy for this match.
“Yesterday’s news of an additional release of 800 tickets to home fans in the same stand as our supporters raises real concerns, primarily about safety, particularly given the concerns previously raised by the authorities regarding our allocation for this fixture.
“Every supporter of every football club deserves the right to watch their team in a safe environment and with the expectation that they can arrive, watch the game and leave without any fear to their wellbeing.
“We have expressed our concerns to Lancashire Police this morning and await their response.
“We note our supporters’ comments about reciprocal arrangements for the return fixture at Deepdale next March.
“We will take all factors into account and will consult with our supporters before coming to a final decision regarding ticketing for this fixture.
“In the meantime we implore supporters of both clubs to enjoy the game at Bloomfield Road, show your passion for your team but do nothing that could impact on any individual’s safety.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here