We’re surprised and disappointed that our FA Cup match against Brighton has been scheduled for a Monday evening.
We raised concerns about playing the league match between the two clubs at night, as there have been previous issues when we played evening games in the Championship, but felt we were presented with a no option scenario. Given the events that occurred, we assumed that this time what we considered to be good sense would prevail and the game would be scheduled as an early daytime kick off. We are also disappointed that our ticket allocation for the FA Cup match has again been restricted to 2,000 when we should be entitled to more than 4,600 tickets under normal FA Cup rules.
We completely understand the security concerns around this match and the safety of all supporters must be paramount. It’s for that very reason that we felt the best and most obvious solution, as is the case with most other big, highly-charged derby games, would have been a lunchtime kick-off, combined with a bigger ticket allocation to cater for the overwhelming demand from our supporters, many of whom will again be left disappointed. We were told that the incidents which took place at last month’s league match were caused, in part, by fans with tickets colluding with un-ticketed fans to force entry into the stadium.
While we understand there are issues with trains on the Sunday of the FA Cup third-round weekend we have offered to provide free coaches to negate this issue, also allowing supporters to be dropped and picked up from designated drop off and pick up points.
We strongly believe that the very small minority who misbehave and create disorder should be punished to the full extent of the law, thereby deterring others. Instead, it’s our view that the many decent and law-abiding supporters are being punished by being deprived of the opportunity to enjoy supporting their team.