Pompey and Saints fans united in criticism of plans for derby

DERBY DAY Pompey fans at St Mary's celebrate a 4-1 victory in 2010
DERBY DAY Pompey fans at St Mary's celebrate a 4-1 victory in 2010
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POMPEY fans have spoken out about police plans to bus in Southampton supporters for their derby clash.

Saints supporters will only be allowed to travel to the city in designated coaches or they will not be allowed into Fratton Park on derby day, as The News reported yesterday.

After their arrival by coach, the fans will then swap tokens for their match tickets in designated areas of the stadium.

They will have no access to alcohol as there are no bars in the away end of Fratton Park and it is illegal to drink on coaches.

While bars inside the stadium and across the city will be open to Pompey fans, they have expressed concern that the same conditions will be forced onto them when visiting Southampton.

Scott McLachlan, of Pompey Supporters Trust, said: ‘As a fellow football fan I can see that this is not right.

‘It’s totally taking the fun out of football – no one likes to be herded around like cattle.

‘The silly thing is that Southampton fans that live here will have to travel over to Southampton just to get a bus all the way back again.

‘I would be so disappointed if we were made to do this the next time we went to St Mary’s.’

Each of the 3,200 away fans allocated to the Pompey v Southampton match will have to pay for the coaches and travel from three pick-up points – Winchester, St Mary’s stadium in Southampton or Bursledon.

They will be escorted by police, including the force helicopter.

Hayden Hopkins, secretary of Andover Saints Supporters Club, said: ‘It’s totally wrong to do this to football fans. Having a pint and enjoying a day out is all part of the experience and that’s being taken away from us more and more these days.’

Police said the plans had been put in place to ensure the safety of all supporters as there is a history of trouble at derby matches.

There were five arrests at the last derby played in Portsmouth in April 2005 when Pompey defeated their south coast rivals 4-1.