Canary fan - easy to get seat at U's game

A NORWICH City season ticket holder claims it was “too easy” to obtain a seat among home fans for this weekend's grudge match at Colchester United.

A NORWICH City season ticket holder claims it was “too easy” to obtain a seat among home fans for this weekend's grudge match at Colchester United.

The Essex club have gone to great lengths to weed out any Canaries fans who have infiltrated their system and bought tickets for home areas.

The match is the first since the controversial departure of manager Paul Lambert from Colchester to Norwich, which has prompted a huge row between the two clubs and increased tensions.

But one fan - who lives in Essex and has been a Carrow Road season ticket holder for 15 years - claims he was asked just one question about his footballing allegiance before he was able to secure a ticket.

Others, he says, have breezed through telephone calls.

The fan, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contacted Colchester after attempts to reserve a ticket online failed.

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“I tried to book it online and it kept on getting rejected and I eventually rang the number,” he explained. “I tried different areas of the ground and every one was rejected so I thought it was my credit card.

“I was rejected in one area because I wasn't with a child, another area where a ticket was no longer available, even though I had reserved it.

“I said, 'can I just book a ticket with you on the phone', and he said, 'no problem'.

“The second person asked me why I had not purchased any tickets before and I said I hadn't been for a while, but I did used to go to Layer Road and stand in the Barside stand - I just knew there was an area called that in Layer Road - and she seemed to be okay with that.

“And also, I have got an Essex accent and an Essex postcode. Because of my accent and my postcode I wasn't suspicious. A Norfolk accent is very distinguishable, but mine is a mix between London and Essex and she probably wouldn't think anything of it.

“It was very easy - too easy. I spoke to two people - the first bloke I spoke to didn't ask me anything. I found it very, very easy to get tickets and there is no way they will trace me because I have an Essex accent and my season ticket is sent to a different Essex address.

“I think there could be quite a few Norwich fans in the home end. I know of a few, and they weren't asked any questions. They just rang up and got them. They live in Essex as well and they weren't asked anything.”

While the fan believes he is in an area of the ground where trouble is not expected, he believes that Colchester's attempts to nip the problem in the bud and chairman Robbie Cowling insistence that Norwich fans in home area “will have to be removed” may not be enough.

“I think he has made a rod for his own back,” said the fan. “What's he going to do on the day, interrogate everyone as they go in?

“I shall be dressed as I would if I was going out to the shops. I don't see how they can catch me - I am going to take my season ticket out of my pocket and I will not have anything that identifies me as a Norwich fan. There will be no yellow and green on me.

“I am not going there for trouble - I am there to watch Norwich. I am in an area where I think it is safe and I don't think I will have a problem.

“I know Norwich is a family club, but you do see the occasional problem in away ends and I think given the fact Colchester fans are still so angry about Paul Lambert that there could be problems. It will be interesting to see what happens should Norwich score early - are they going to throw loads of people out?”

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