Monday, September 05, 2011

Fixtures clash sparks trouble fear

 Source: The Bolton News

 POLICE chiefs have been warned an attempt to prevent trouble at a nonleague football match could make potential problems worse.

Chorley FC play FC United of Manchester on Saturday at Victory Park, Chorley, and police have ordered an 11.30am kick off.

By stopping fans drinking, they aim to prevent a repeat of trouble that marred a match between Chester and Chorley last season.

But Bolton Wanderers play Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium at 5.30pm and there are fears yobs could target both games, with FC United fans travelling to the Reebok to watch Manchester United.

FC United was set up by disgruntled United fans but some continue to follow Manchester United, who are the local rivals of Wanderers.

Chorley FC officials have made their match all ticket but there are fears troublemakers could gather near Victory Park. Chorley South East Cllr Alistair Bradley said: “While I understand why the police have brought the start forward, there are possible ramifications.

“It only takes a few minutes to get between the two grounds by train and there is a recipe for things to fall apart.”

A Chorley FC spokesman said: “It is unfortunate that we are in this situation.

“These decisions have been taken to reduce any potential of a repeat of the incidents that took place before and after our fixture with Chester.”

The Evo-Stick league’s operations manager, Alan Allcock, said: “I am a little surprised on the insistence of a change of kick-off time for this fixture in view of FC United’s excellent behaviour by their supporters.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said the Force could not comment on the issue.

9:20am Monday 5th September 2011