Southampton fans 'advised not to drink in Portsmouth' on Fratton Park match day

AWAY fans have been advised ‘not to drink’ in the city when Pompey play Southampton at Fratton Park.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 1:41 pm
Updated Monday, 9th September 2019, 7:12 pm

Posting on the Pompey Supporters Trust website, treasurer Donald Vass said he and others met with the police on Saturday.

He said he was told during the meeting that there would be no designated pub for away fans, and they would be ‘advised not to drink in Portsmouth’.

It comes after Hampshire police revealed there would be no ‘bubble’-style police operation that previously saw clubs' opposing fans bussed in and out and prevented from taking other transport.

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BUBBLE CONVOY The 33 buses left from Rodney Road, Portsmouth on April 7, 2012, to St Mary's Stadium in Southampton for the Pompey v Saints match. Picture: Sarah Standing (121241-6855)

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No 'police bubble' for Portsmouth versus Southampton match at Fratton Park

In the post, Mr Vass said: ‘For away fans opting to travel by train, there will not be any ‘football special’ trains laid on as there will also be many commuters travelling around the same time.

‘Away fans will be advised not to drink in Portsmouth, and there will be no “away designated” pubs.’

In the 2010/11 season police only allowed fans to use the bubble coach system, with no other transport allowed to and from fixtures involving Southampton and Pompey.

But Mr Vass said later this month there would still be coaches put on. They will arrive at a 'sterile corridor' near the away entrance.

He said: ‘Away fans will be offered coach travel which will arrive in a “sterile corridor” near the away entrance, and police expect significant numbers to opt for this method of travel.

‘This will in effect mirror the 2011 operation, while giving other fans the freedom to travel in other ways should they choose to.’

Meanwhile, players being substituted during the match could be allowed to leave the pitch via any touch line, in an apparent bid to avoid any clashes between fans and players.

It comes after a new rule brought in this season means players coming off have to leave at the nearest touch line.

Mr Vass said: ‘During the game, police will advise that the new rule instructing players to leave the pitch by their nearest touch line should be relaxed.

‘A decision on whether or not to hold away fans back after the game, allowing home fans to dissipate, will be taken nearer to the fixture.’

The evening of Tuesday, September 24 will be the first time the teams have met since April 2012.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman insisted it does not designate pubs for away fans for any match.