I am a 77 year-old retired schoolmaster. My son, a retired police officer drove to stay with me from his home in Kent in order to attend the Doncaster v Sunderland soccer match last Tuesday evening.
I found it was not possible to buy tickets online. I rang the ticket office and was told that there was no chance of my buying a ticket to the match as I had never registered with the club and “I might be a Sunderland fan” I pointed out that there would be a few thousand empty seats but I was assured it was no good turning up as I would not be allowed to buy a ticket. I was told that the ruling came from the South Yorkshire Police.
I was very surprised and angry. In the past three years I have been three times to the KC Stadium in Hull to see Sunderland play.
I sat with the Hull fans. I have done exactly the same in the last few years at the grounds of Scunthorpe, Bradford, Fulham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Leeds I bought tickets from the home club and sat with the home supporters. So how can South Yorkshire justify their decision? Is it payback time for Hillsborough?
I read an article by the Doncaster manager in which he declared that Sunderland and Barnsley should “walk the league” because of their financial clout. Perhaps they don’t turn would-be spectators away for no apparent reason. Can the police really justify their decision?