We are deeply disappointed to hear of West Yorkshire Police’s plans for the Huddersfield Town v Hull City game on March 30th.
This fixture, which had already been brought forward to 12.30pm without good cause, is now to be televised by Sky Sports, with a 5.20pm kick-off. The response of WYP to this is, frankly, abhorrent. A reduced allocation of 1,500 punishes both City fans and Huddersfield, who are losing gate receipts through no fault of their own.
That’s bad enough, but what is truly disgraceful are the plans to force all City supporters to travel on official club coaches. This is completely unacceptable for two reasons: the practice and the principle. What of City fans who live outside of Hull? As an example, the Manchester Tigers could be left with the absurd obligation of travelling east, through Huddersfield and virtually past the stadium, to Hull, only to return again – and then to face repeating the exercise after the game. This places a ludicrous burden in terms of time and cost on people whose only wish is to watch their football team play. And what of the family who want to travel from Hull by train and have a meal and a drink before the game? Again, they miss out. Again, local businesses in Huddersfield miss out.
The principle is arguably even more insidious. What sort of message does it send out about WYP’s view of us? City fans have behaved impeccably this season, yet West Yorkshire Police appear to regard us as nothing but potential hooligans, fit only to have our numbers and movements heavily restricted lest we engage in violence. That is not at all the reality – City fans, like the overwhelming majority of all football fans, are law-abiding citizens who will put up with almost anything in order to cheer on their local side.
But we cannot put up with this. High ticket prices, matches being moved at random, cloying all-seater regulations; the list of minor indignities is seemingly endless, and they’re tolerated with immense patience. However, the vile insinuation that we’re all violent drunken scum who cannot be trusted to watch a football match in the late afternoon without being compulsorily ferried from one part of Yorkshire to another is absolutely not on.
Amber Nectar, City Independent and the Hull City Official Supporters Club have joined together to stand as one over this issue. If West Yorkshire Police will not see sense, we urge the Club to take a stand on our behalf, and refuse to accept an allocation of tickets under these conditions.