Bristol City Supporters Club & Trust has welcomed the announcement from Avon and Somerset Police that no restrictions will be placed on Cardiff City supporters travelling to their game with City at Ashton Gate on March 5th.
The Force’s Supporter Liaison Officer had sounded out the Club & Trust board on this matter at our regular open meeting in November and the board indicated that its view was that all football supporters should be able to travel to their team’s away games without any restrictions placed by the police on their freedom of movement.
Regardless of the fact that City fans were not able to travel freely to our last game in Cardiff, the Club & Trust board took the view that two wrongs don’t make a right and that there was no way that it could support law-abiding fans of any club having their freedom of movement restricted.
“Football supporters suffer all too often from prejudice, with some police forces evidently seeing all fans as a risk to law and order,” says Club & Trust chair Stu Rogers. “If anyone breaks the law, then naturally they should be dealt with accordingly. But there should not be a presumption that unless fans are forced to accept inconvenient travel arrangements there will be disorder. We are delighted that Avon and Somerset Police see things the same way and are grateful to them for attending our meetings and keeping us appraised of their thinking in this area.”
Tim Hartley, chairman of Cardiff City Supporters Trust, said: “The Severnside derby is always a memorable occasion and many Cardiff fans enjoy spending some time in Bristol before and after the game. Cardiff City Supporters Trust welcomes the removal of travel restrictions so that people can visit Ashton Gate as they choose. We hope that everyone has a good and safe day out. It is good to see that negotiations between the two football clubs and their supporters trusts have proved so fruitful. This shows once again the importance of meaningful engagement between clubs and their fans.”