Bristol City Football Club Supporters Trust

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Time to burst the bubble

Bristol City Supporters Trust urges the South Wales Police to put an end to their ‘bubble match’ policy and to re-consider the consequences of imposing such draconian travel measures on Bristol City supporters when travelling to Cardiff and Swansea.

Only 800 City fans made the trip to Cardiff recently and just 219 fans are going to Swansea on Tuesday. 

Such is the impact of forcing fans to travel by official coaches only and handing out tickets as people step off the coach and are herded straight into the ground.  (By contrast, travelling with no such restrictions, 2,022 fans went to Coventry on Saturday and over 2,800 will be going all the way to Newcastle in a few weeks time – a following that would have been even larger in size if more tickets had been available).

South Wales Police appear to be the only force in the country still deploying such tactics, given that Avon and Somerset Police now look likely to give the go-ahead for both Cardiff and Swansea fans to travel to Ashton Gate under their own steam for the return games later this season. What possible justification can there be for South Wales Police persisting with bubble match restrictions?

Bristol City Supporters Trust calls upon Chief Superintendent Mark Mathias of South Wales Police to openly explain why it is not possible for:

  • Bristol City Football Club to responsibly sell tickets to its own supporters listed on their database
  • Supporters to make their own independent travel arrangements, allowing grown up and sensible fans to make their own minds up about any potential downsides associated with travelling to the game
  • Those supporters wishing to travel as part of an escorted group to “opt in” to bubble arrangements by simply choosing to travel via the official club coaches

In the absence of any legal justification to restrict freedom of movement to football matches outside of banning orders, is this not simply a question of money and effort? Is it not simply a case of will?

The time has come for change.

We therefore extend a formal invitation to the Chief Superintendent Mathias to attend an open meeting in Bristol with the Trust and other fans on a weekday evening of his convenience to answer questions and explain his stance.  He may travel to Bristol however he wishes.

 

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Paul Cheesley
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Paul Cheesley
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