WE reported last week on the club’s Exit Strategy for the Town match against Leeds on February 27 and noted the Supporters Association had been in touch to ask how the decision had been made to ask Town fans to wait in the stadium after the match.
Last Friday we received the following reply:
“We believe that this strategy will provide the best safety and security to the fans on the day.Š
“As in previous seasons it has been considered by all parties responsible that it would be unsafe to hold back 4,000 supporters in the Pink Link Stand.Š
“The considerations key to this decision are as follows:
“This is due to the lay-out of the stadium.Š There is insufficient room to allow fans to leave the Pink Link Stand and wait in the rear area, and it is surrounded by high walls which could become a crush risk.Š
“Holding 4,000 fans in their seats is considered to be impractical, as to avoid them moving forward towards home fans and the pitch would require a huge police and stewarding exercise.
“In addition, following on from the criticism relating to the safety of home supporters exiting at the same time as Leeds United supporters last season, the strategy has been modified to help ensure additional security to our fans.Š
“With regard to what happens at other grounds, it would not be appropriate to comment.Š We have to deal with the design and construction of our own site, plus the risks of the game.”
Individuals will come to their own conclusions on this explanation, but the lingering impression is that the home fans have drawn the short straw.
It will be interesting to reconsider this strategy once the findings of the current FA Working Party on Crowd Control are published.
In advance of the Leeds match, Town fans still have two away trips to follow the successful visit to Carlisle. Would all those already booked on the HTSA coach to Hartlepool this Saturday please note that the departure time from the Galpharm has been brought forward to 11am. For anyone yet to book, the prices are £14 and £12 junior concessions.
Then there’s the trip to Tranmere next Tuesday (February 23). This leaves the stadium at 4.30pm and is priced at £12 and £10 concessions.
Ring 07926 165863 to book your place. Also note that these prices are for HTSA members. For non-members it’s £2 extra, but you can always join the Association on the coach or, of course, you may join the Association via the website at www.htsa.co.uk