No safety issues for ‘Blues’ at Brandywell

Presseye Northern Ireland- 05th March 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye''Setanta Sports Cup Quarter Final - Linfield v Derry City''Derry players with their fans after Monday nights Setanta Sports Cup quarter final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland- 05th March 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye''Setanta Sports Cup Quarter Final - Linfield v Derry City''Derry players with their fans after Monday nights Setanta Sports Cup quarter final at Windsor Park.

LINFIELD Football Club could have in the region of 1,000 supporters attending next Tuesday night’s Setanta Sports Cup clash against Derry City at the Brandywell.

ARTHUR DUFFY reports

The “Blues” have made an official request for their minimum ticket allocation of 750 and with other supporters securing tickets outside that allocaion, a large representaion of Linfield fans are expected on Foyleside next Tuesday.

With the match delicately poised at 1-1 following the first leg game at Windsor Park last week, a scoreless result in the second leg would see the “Candy Stripes” progress to the semi-finals in the 2012 competition.

Following Linfield’s request, it’s understood a meeting involving Derry City Council officials , the owners of Brandywell Stadium, Derry City Football Club and the local PSNI, was convened yesterday morning in the city.

And, according to informed sources, all parties agreed that “there were no safety issues” in relation to supporters either inside or outside the stadium.

The game, therefore, has been given the green light and it will kick-off at 7.30 p.m. with the Setanta Sports cameras covering the match “live.”

Allocations Restricted

In previous years, Derry City opted to restrict Linfield’s allocation when playing at the Brandywell due to the fact that difficulties had been experienced in the past. However, on this occasion, the full allocation of 750 has been agreed by the powers that be at Derry City.

“Our responsibility rests with accommodating supporters inside the ground and we believe that we will have the necessary measures in place to cope with a visiting attendance of 750 supporters,” said Derry City’s vice-chairman, Sean Barrett, last night.

“We signed up to a Participation Agreement in relation to this competition and with Linfield having made an official request for an allocation of 750 tickets, that allocation has already been forwarded to Belfast for next week’s game,” added Mr. Barrett.

While Derry City Council and Derry City Football Club made it quite clear that they were comfortable dealing with any situations which may arise inside the stadium, it’s also understood that the PSNI echoed those sentiments in relation to the safety of Linfield supporters when travelling to and from the ground.

Arrangents

already in place

Mr. Barrett confirmed that a meeting had taken place and, as far as he was concerned, any arrangements that had to be put in place, would be put in place to ensure that the match goes ahead at Brandywell next week.

“If Linfield take-up their allocation, then they will be accommodated in the Southend Park Stand as usual,” he continued.

“And with opposing fans to be segregated in that area, there will be quite a number empty seats on that side of the ground which will be disappointing. However, in the interests of safety, it’s important that we make any provision necessary.”

Linfield supporters travelling from Belfast will stop at Crescent Link Retail Park before being taken to Brandywell Stadium by bus, a situation which has been deployed successfully in the past.

With or without Linfield’s allocation, Derry City would expect to enjoy a capacity attendance at the game and tickets will go on sale in local outlets later this week.

Tickets will cost £12 and £9 (Stand) and £10 and £8 (terracing).

At last Monday night’s game in Windsor Park, Derry City had a minimum of 650 supporters in attendance, those tickets purchased through the Brandywell club’s office.