From the undersigned
C/O Amanda Jacks
Football Supporters Federation
The Cherry Red Records Stadium – Kingsmeadow
Jack Goodchild Watch
422A Kingston Road
Kingston Upon Thames
Ch Supt John Parkinson
West Yorkshire Police Headquarters
PO BOX 9
Friday March 8, 2013
Dear Mr Parkinson,
We write in connection with Huddersfield Town’s Championship game against Hull City on March 30.
Fans’ groups from both clubs have been working in partnership in recent weeks after WYP announced it would categorise the match as CIR – the highest possible grading.
This categorisation came as a huge shock to fans of both clubs and we consider it a slur on both our good names. We are primarily concerned that WYP will not allow all Hull City fans to make their own way to the match. Hundreds of Hull City fans routinely travel independently to away games by train and cause no trouble and WYP is denying them of this right.
We are also concerned that WYP restricted the Hull City ticket allocation to 1,500 and, though we welcomed the subsequent increase to 1,700, it is still below the competition rules entitlement of 2,000 and it is below what some neighbouring clubs have had this season – 4,000.
We are also concerned that there can be no matchday ticket sales and that the match has been put in the most expensive pricing category, depriving Huddersfield Town of vital income and depriving fans of a fair deal.
We understand police sometimes have no choice but to use strong measures for certain games – but only when they justify the need for it beforehand. We strongly believe that, for this game, WYP has not done so.
Representatives of many organisations have asked WYP to present firm evidence and we are not convinced it has done so. Indeed, no other police force has found reason to subject Hull City fans to similar restrictions at away games this season.
WYP representatives claimed to have listened to and consulted with fans, but we see no evidence of this. We urge WYP to call a meeting with fans’ groups’ representatives so they can justify their position, or to ease restrictions.
We request that you remove travel restrictions, bring ticket prices down, give Hull City at least 300 more tickets (so it satisfies competition rules on away allocations) and allow matchday ticket sales.
We understand that your officers may need to monitor an extremely small minority of fans that you label as ‘high-risk’ before, during and after the game and have no objection to this, but this should not reflect on the treatment of the extremely large majority of law-abiding supporters.
The very fact that such a wide spectrum of supporter groups is working together on this issue shows the level of unity between the supporters of the two clubs and the fact that WYP has judged the match categorisation completely wrongly.
We sincerely want to work with WYP to make it a safe and enjoyable occasion. However, should WYP maintain its current stance on these issues, it is possible that some fans’ groups may call for Hull City fans to boycott the game – while respecting others’ rights to attend – and that there may be peaceful protests on matchday.
We urge WYP to respond to this invitation by March 18.
And going forward beyond this game, our door is always open when it comes to dealing with sensitive issues like this that may arise in future.
The Football Supporters Federation (FSF)
Huddersfield Town Supporters Association (HTSA)
City Independent Fanzine
Hull City Southern Supporters
Amber Nectar Fanzine
Hull City Official Supporters Club
Hull City Tiger-Chat Mailing List
To download a copy of this letter, please click this link: FSF Press Release – HTFC HCAFC