Norwich pubs ban Ipswich Town fans for Championship play-off semi-final – but Carrow Road away end opens at 10.45am
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
No pubs in Norwich are letting in Ipswich Town fans before or during the East Anglian derby on Saturday.
Two pubs in Ipswich were open for Canaries supporters for the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday, which ended in a 1-1 draw at Portman Road.
But in an interview with this newspaper, Norfolk Police chief superintendent Nick Davison said the force has been unable to secure a licensed premise that is willing to identify itself as a designated away pub for the crucial second leg on Saturday (12.15pm kick off).
He said: “Typically what we find in the city of Norwich is that there is a traditional pub that will always be happy to accept away supporters.
“But when it comes to the derby, there seems to be a view, rightly or wrongly, that they want to all self-declare as home only supporters.
“You will have to ask them why they feel that way because it is not my decision. I would completely understand the disappointment that Ipswich Town fans may be feeling about that position, but we did have that position when the clubs last met on March 1.”
The news comes after Ipswich Town Football Club urged all ticketless fans not to travel to Norwich.
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Ch Supt Davison said: “Do you want to watch it in Norwich knowing that actually you might find it quite challenging to find a venue that, if you are wearing Ipswich colours, would allow you entry? That is not a police decision. That is a licensee decision. It actually helps me if I have an away pub and we normally have an away pub which is close to the train station which works really positively, but that venue has decided that it won’t designate itself as an away pub.
“Norwich City Football Club are alive to this point and very helpfully the away section of the Jarrold Stand where the Ipswich Town supporters will go will be open from 10.45am.”
Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said she was not surprised.
She added: “Ipswich clearly goes out of its way to make visiting fans welcome – Norwich had the normal away pub (The Riverside) and The Malthouse. It is a great shame that Norwich cannot make the effort to be equally welcoming.
“There will be, just like last time, many, many Town fans in Norwich pre-match, hiding their blue colours as they knock back a quick pre-match beer or two. Surely it would be better for us to have a designated away pub to meet in?”