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Police drop challenge to late derby kick-off

02/02/2015  Comments (38)  jump
Merseyside Police were refusing to let stand the matter of Saturday's kick-off time for the derby between Everton and Liverpool and mounted a late legal challenge to have it moved.

The local authorities' attempts to bring the match forward from 5:30pm to an earlier kick-off were knocked back by the Premier League last month but they remain concerned about having adequate resources to deal with what they have categorised as a Category C fixture.

Merseyside Police subsequently withdrew a legal challenge against a late kick-off at Saturday's Premier League derby after Liverpool City Council had refused to amend Goodison Park's ground safety certificate to allow an earlier start. During discussions at South Sefton Magistrates' Court, Everton agreed to further segregation arrangements.

Police caution over the potential for drunk fans to cause trouble due to the extra time spent in pubs before the match have resulted in a number of lunchtime derbies in recent years, although the 4pm kick-off in 2009 passed without incident.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: "We have tried to do everything possible to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible.

"This was the first available opportunity, following our representations to the club, Premier League and Ground Safety Advisory Group, to appeal the decision in a bid to make sure that the game did not go ahead without unnecessary risk."

Mr Cooke said the force accepted any change to the kick-off time "at this stage" would cause "considerable inconvenience" for fans.

"Our request to move the kick-off time is in no way a reflection of the behaviour of fans from either club, as the majority of people who attend the games are genuine fans who go to enjoy the football and have a good time," he said.

Quotes sourced from BBC News


Reader Comments (38)

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Charlie Dixon
1 Posted 02/02/2015 at 16:57:10
My train upto town gets in at 2pm so it had better not been moved.
Haven’t the police got anything better to do......
Nick Entwistle
2 Posted 02/02/2015 at 16:57:14
The Police are there to police. Quit complaining and get on with it. If this passes without incident then we can have more derbies late in the day because any fixture that starts early loses a great deal of intensity.

And intensity could be our only weapon this weekend. We’ve got nothing else to offer.

Robin Cannon
3 Posted 02/02/2015 at 17:46:09
I’d be pissed. For once it’s a derby at the weekend that I don’t have to get up around 6am to watch here in Texas.

And that’s nothing compared to the number of people who’ll already have made travel arrangements and bought tickets based on the original kick off time.

Clive Mitchell
4 Posted 02/02/2015 at 18:08:59
This really is a disgraceful police attitude. Two steps down the line they’ll be arguing for a curfew.
Ray Roche
5 Posted 02/02/2015 at 18:11:32
Thing is, when it suits the police, the game has to be early kick off, 12:45 or something, but when Sky decides on a 17:30 kick off, everything’s fine. If the police decide it should be an early kick-off Sky should have no say in the matter. It should have been sorted out when Sky first said they were screening the match.
Tony Draper
6 Posted 02/02/2015 at 18:18:09
Plod just wants their overtime finished early so that they can all fuck off home and get shitfaced, rather than have to sit around for hours stone cold sober before they turn up for work. Completely see through fascist plot. (revolutionary mode to off).
Peter Fearon
7 Posted 02/02/2015 at 21:13:20
This is a non issue. How many night time derbies have there been with no serious problems? The time to act on this has come and gone.
Dennis Ahlgrim
8 Posted 02/02/2015 at 21:32:07
A 12:30 start over here in Brooklyn is very much appreciated. Not the best form to be several pints in before the sunÂ’s over the barn.
John Raftery
9 Posted 02/02/2015 at 21:44:10
There wonÂ’t be any trouble at the match. There may be some in town with the drunks who donÂ’t attend the match but that happens whatever the kick off time.
Peter Murray
10 Posted 02/02/2015 at 21:02:07
The kick off at 5.30 will be a potential recipe for major problems. Drinking will be going on from 11am onwards. And from about 7:30 pm onwards there will be hundreds (thousands?) of fans going into the city centre round about the same as the normal crowds of revellers start arriving from all over the place.

And the police, with vastly reduced numbers, will be criticised for not handling this properly.

# 3 Robbie Cannon
Sorry about 6am wake up in Texas. A lot of us do that here anyway for away games.

# 6 Tony Draper
Please get another peg, apart from Everton Football Club, on which to hang this nonsense.

Steve Carse
11 Posted 02/02/2015 at 23:39:11
If the game is kept for 5.30 then expect the Police to make complete arseholes of themselves and cause lots of trouble by emptying pubs near the ground and harassing drinkers.

There will be some trouble. There has been rivalry for the last couple of seasons between the regulars of a couple of pubs.

Brian Hill
12 Posted 03/02/2015 at 08:39:36
Pub rivalry? Give me strength.
Len Gowing
13 Posted 03/02/2015 at 09:26:47
Has anybody noticed that the Spirit of Shankly group are the loudest fan based group voicing their unhappiness at the change in kick off time proposal? Good to see a fan group sticking up for their supporters who'd have to travel far to see the game. Most of them would already be in hotels the night before wouldn't they? If not the M1 would surely be quieter earlier on a Saturday morning?

As for me, I'd rather have a 12:30 kick off.... less time waiting round all day stressing about what might happen. I'm sure an early kick off wouldn't affect 99% of the blues attending. As for atmosphere, don't agree that 5:30 would be any different than 12:30, it's what we make of it, not how pissed we may or may not be.

Len Gowing
14 Posted 03/02/2015 at 11:15:59
Game goes ahead at 5:30.... looks like I'll have to get wellied then!
Andrew Ellams
15 Posted 03/02/2015 at 12:43:14
So just as we thought, Sky TV are more powerful than the police. Roll on Saturday
Eugene Ruane
16 Posted 03/02/2015 at 14:27:27
There's an episode of Rising Damp that sees Rigsby convinced the house is haunted.

At one point, he sends for the vicar, hoping the reverend will be able to perform an exorcism.

However when the vicar arrives and hears the request, he looks nervous and tells Rigsby "I'm not really keen, I mean we don't really know what we're dealing with here"

Rigsby is aghast - "I must say I'm very disappointed with your attitude vicar, I mean if I send for an electrician, I don't expect him to tell me he's worried about getting an electric shock."

Regarding Saturday's 5,30 kick-off, I've viewed the police in much the same way as as Rigsby saw the vicar.

In fact when I first heard of their concerns I got a mental picture of Charles Hawtrey in Carry On Sergeant giving it - '5.30? Oh I don't like the sound of that, there could be trouble'

They're the POLICE ffs, they should do their jobs and stop whining like a bunch of tarts (seriously - six foot with batons, mace and tazers, but crying 'cause it'll be dark and a few idiots will be pissed).

Steve Carse
17 Posted 03/02/2015 at 15:09:57
Len (13), can't agree with KO times not affecting atmosphere. Did you go to the derby semi? For a cup semi, against your fiercest rivals, the atmosphere was pathetic.
Steve Carse
18 Posted 03/02/2015 at 15:19:41
Brian (12), just to clarify, I wasn't referring to pub rivalry in respect of the quality of respective tiddlywinks or darts teams. I'm talking about the situation where a number of 'Blue' and 'Red' pubs in the Walton/Anfield have for a number of years been involved in tit for tat violence and hooliganism.
Andrew Ellams
19 Posted 03/02/2015 at 15:35:04
Eugene, I can't feeling it's more about the number of coppers who will have to give up their Saturday evenings. Particularly the senior ones...
Ant Summers
20 Posted 03/02/2015 at 15:41:36
Police will be arresting people for minor issues to make a. Point. You just watch the Echo, they will be searching out any little issue.
Eugene Ruane
21 Posted 03/02/2015 at 15:40:51
Andrew (19) - "Eugene, I can't feeling it's more about the number of coppers who will have to give up their Saturday evenings"

That's even more of a worry if the trend continues - "Liverpool police to close everything at 5.00 p.m so they can sit at home in their bills watching Silent Witness."

Len Gowing
22 Posted 03/02/2015 at 16:19:54
Steve, didn't get to the semi derby but have yet to experience a poor atmosphere at any of those at GP, though I did miss a load late 90's early 00's
Brian Williams
23 Posted 03/02/2015 at 16:35:43
I just find it unbelievable that Sky has more clout than the police.
Whether you love or hate the police, agree or disagree with them, the fact that Sky's overruled them and got THEIR way is scandalous.
Steve Carse
24 Posted 03/02/2015 at 17:07:09
I can't begin to see what better segregation inside GP can possibly consist of short of telling fans currently holding tickets in the seats where both sets of supporters come together that they're not going to be able to go to the game after all. Thing is, inside the ground is very rarely where the real trouble is. Just sounds like an attempt at a face-saving claim of victory of sorts by the Police.
Brian Cleveland
25 Posted 03/02/2015 at 18:14:47
"This was the first available opportunity .... to make sure that the game did not go ahead without unnecessary risk"

so they are looking for more risk?

Send him back to school to learn English first!!

:-)

Clive Mitchell
26 Posted 03/02/2015 at 18:56:00
'the majority of people who go the games ... go to enjoy the football and have a good time.' Yeah. You could call them the community, the body the police exists to serve. Shabby Mr Cooke, just shabby.
Darren Hind
27 Posted 03/02/2015 at 19:07:38
Is right Eugene #16

If they're struggling with a few drunken footy fans, fuck knows how they're going to cope at Aintree after the last race on Ladies Day

Paul Tran
28 Posted 03/02/2015 at 19:41:48
Darren, is Ladies Day the most unsuitable description of a sporting event ever? Last time we went, we saw women chucking up on a car bonnet on the way in at midday, the man selling Fosters on his back mugged for his lager. Best one was a woman who backed Double Vodka collect her money then throw up on the bookie. Derby Days seemed so civilised by comparison.....

Tony Dove
29 Posted 03/02/2015 at 20:15:30
Eugene@16 thank you. Thats the end of the debate.
Darren Hind
30 Posted 03/02/2015 at 20:35:07
Laughing here Paul.

Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about regarding Saturdays kick off time

Paul Tran
31 Posted 03/02/2015 at 20:47:24
Darren, is it the police overtime bill? I remember when both sides played at home at the same time on the same day in the FA Cup.

There was one ladies day when they did the best-dressed lady competition. They picked the winner, told her she'd won a VW Golf, asked her what she thought of the prize. She slurred,"Fucking hell, is that all, last year it was a fucking Jag!" — and promptly fell over.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 03/02/2015 at 20:56:56
Some funny posts here and although I'm made up with the kick off time, I think the police are genuinely worried. Things have got progressively worse down the years and I think they are scared a major incident could have repercussions for years.

I think, if I lived to be a million years old, I would never side with The Police, but I think they will be more worried about the pubs around the ground and in the City Centre, rather than anything happening inside the ground.

David S Shaw
33 Posted 03/02/2015 at 21:32:20
The reason it is not better segregated is that knowing a season ticket holder but not going the match puts you higher on the list for a ticket than someone who can only attend a few of times a season.

Colin Gee
34 Posted 03/02/2015 at 22:16:45
I've always thought that it was the Police that had the final say in kick-off times, I always thought that when Sky and BT Sports were discussing which fixtures they wanted to screen live, the Police were involved and if they said No to a late kick-off then the games were moved around the weekend until everyone was happy.
Remember after the 'Battle of Everton Valley' after Rooney returned with Man Utd in the FA Cup for the first time. That game was live on TV and kicked off at I think 5:30 on a Saturday evening and for a good few seasons after, the game against Man UTD was always an early kick-off on the Saturday morning on 'Police advice'.

Ant Summers
35 Posted 03/02/2015 at 22:42:30
The council picking up the bill, 㿞k extra, no bin collections for a fortnight.
Ian Linn
36 Posted 04/02/2015 at 01:19:51
Nanny state
Fintan Spode
37 Posted 04/02/2015 at 20:52:45
Good arguments for and against, but for myself I am a 3pm on Saturday sort of guy. Start the day with big fry, read the papers, couple of pints, watch the match, back in the pub to celebrate, home in time for MotD... magic!!!
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 07/02/2015 at 12:21:40
Segregation? Apartheid more like it? Families are split down the middle and many go to derby games together so why are the coppers trying to ruin this?

I’ve been on the kop in 1-2 derby games and my younger bro has been on Gwladys St as well, even tho with a clothes peg on our respective noses.

So the PC brigade is trying to destroy this historic fixture as well? Divvies.


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