Police fail in appeal to move Newcastle match
It has been revealed that Northumbria Police tried to have the Newcastle v Leeds match moved.
The norm is that when Newcastle play at home, Sunderland play away, and vice-versa.
However, for some reason there was an anomaly, Newcastle v Leeds clashing with Sunderland v West Ham.
Northumbria Police admit that they asked for one of the games to be shifted but the two leagues refused.
Used to having the luxury of only looking after only one game on any particular day, the Police say that they can cope but that the situation isn’t ideal.
To make matters worse, the games are scheduled for Saturday 15 April which is Easter Bank Holiday.
No doubt many Leeds fans will intend to make a weekend of it and countless West Ham supporters will be the same – many away fans who come up for games at Sunderland choosing to stay in Newcastle and travel over to the dark place just for the game.
With it being a bank holiday, you can only imagine even more will fancy extending their stay beyond the match(es).
A third strand sees Middlesbrough also at home, with Arsenal the visitors.
With all three away clubs almost certain to sell their full allocations, it will mean around 10,000 away fans heading to the three north east clubs.
It could be a busy time for the British Transport Police as well, with the trains carrying fans of all three clubs.
Live TV dates are awaited for that weekend but Newcastle already have a game on Bank Holiday Monday (17th) at Portman Road against Ipswich, so only Saturday or Friday night TV slots would be possibilities. No extra matches scheduled for Premier League clubs on that Monday though, so there could yet be a shift to the Sunday/Monday for Sunderland and/or Middlesbrough.
Northumbria Police spokesman Superintendent Geoff Logan:
“Upon release of the fixtures in the summer of 2016 we recognised both teams were playing at home on the day in question.
“Following consultation with both clubs and other key partners, we made submissions to the respective leagues outlining our shared concerns and requesting the rescheduling of the fixtures.
“However, neither league was prepared to change their respective fixture leading to the situation of both Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC currently being scheduled to play at home on the same day.
“Public safety is our absolute priority and we would like to reassure supporters and the public that we have resources available to police both matches should the kick-off times remain the same.”
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