How about a Saturday derby?

PUBLISHED: 15:53 26 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 10 September 2010

John Tilson, NCISA

I am sure that the other 2,000 or so City fans who like me travelled to Portman Road on Sunday, April 13, felt that the treatment by Suffolk Constabulary was a vast improvement on previous visits.

I am sure that the other 2,000 or so City fans who like me travelled to Portman Road on Sunday, April 13, felt that the treatment by Suffolk Constabulary was a vast improvement on previous visits.

No sight of baton-wielding officers in full riot gear keeping us penned in the railway station yard for an eternity before a slow crawl to the turnstiles, arriving bang on kick-off. No packs of snapping, snarling German shepherd dogs. OK, yes they had a presence but nothing like last season. In fact from standing on Thorpe station platform to arriving at the turnstiles, took just one hour. Very acceptable.

The kick-off time I find unacceptable as I am sure do Ipswich fans. The reasons given by the constabulary revolve around public order and alcohol.

The clubs say it is the police who dictate kick-off times. Oh, sorry, I nearly forgot to mention Sky. As we know if they turn up with their cameras the day of the week and kick-off time is of no consequence or relevance to the clubs or plod.

So getting back to Sunday, April 13, whilst on the 10am normal service train to Liverpool Street what happened to the public order concerns when the hundreds of City fans were found by dozens wearing blue and white at Diss and getting on for a further hundred at Stowmarket. This with not a police uniform in sight.

Having entered the ground a good hour before kick-off imagine our amazement to not only find the bar serving beer and Alco pops, we were in the company of Ipswich fans. No police and not a steward in sight.

More importantly there was no sign of trouble on the train or in the bar.

As I have stated this latest visit was far more “consumer friendly” than it has been in recent years but as for the noon kick-off on a Sunday my plea to NCFC, ITFC and the two constabularies is - get over it. Results willing today and next week how about giving noon on Saturday a go?

In recent weeks we have seen Celtic v Rangers and the Sheffield derby take place midweek with evening kick-offs. Were the pubs and clubs in the east end of Glasgow and the steel city closed all day up until kick-off? No of course not.

Only last Saturday Millwall hosted Leeds with an afternoon kick-off. The ground was 5,000 above Millwall's average. Are you going to tell me they were made up of neutrals?

Let us try and get back to the good old days as I make one final comment for the chief constable and the chief executive at Carrow Road to ponder on. What would you do next season if the Carling Cup threw up Norwich City at home to Ipswich Town? As we all know only the final is played on a Sunday. All the rounds including the semi-finals are played midweek.

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