Cowling warns rogue Canary fans

ROGUE Norwich City fans found in the home section for Saturday's emotionally-charged East Anglian derby at Colchester will be immediately ejected by stewards.

Stuart Watson

ROGUE Norwich City fans found in the home section for Saturday's emotionally-charged East Anglian derby at Colchester will be immediately ejected by stewards.

That is the promise of U's chairman and owner Robbie Cowling after fears were raised that Canaries supporters were beating the system to purchase home tickets.

Cowling enraged Norwich fans and staff alike with his decision not to extend the basic allocation of 1,900 seats - the whole of the North Stand - for the visiting Norfolk supporters.

And with more than 1,100 Norwich fans who applied for an away ticket to the game being left disappointed, many have subsequently attempted to find a seat elsewhere in the ground.

Colchester box office staff have been monitoring the sales history and postcodes of buyers in a desperate attempt to prevent this happening, however, a number of Norwich fans have been gloating on internet message boards that they have still managed to get their hands on a ticket.

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“We have discovered that a number of tickets in home areas were sold to Norwich fans,” confirmed Cowling.

“We have since got in touch with them, cancelled those tickets, given them their money back and then resold the tickets to genuine home supporters.

“If any Norwich fans are still to be found in the home sections on the day then they will have to be removed from the stadium because we can't have that.”

Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association secretary Kathy Blake slammed Cowling's decision, saying: “It is a classic own goal as far as their chairman goes and if City fans get into the Colchester end and there's trouble, he has only got himself to blame.”

However, Cowling - whose decision not to extend away allocation has been vindicated following the news that the 10,000 capacity Weston Homes Community Stadium is now sold-out for the game - has hit back at such claims.

He said: “Why should we have given them extra seats? We have given them a whole stand and we will fill the rest with our own fans.”

Cowling's ill-feeling towards the Canaries stems from manager Paul Lambert's defection from the U's to Norwich last August - just weeks after masterminding a 7-1 victory at Carrow Road on the opening day of the season.

The Colchester owner spent three months trying to privately settle a compensation package with Norwich but in the end lost patience and reported them to the Football League.

Cowling has since called upon the authorities to deduct Norwich points, said he 'would rather see an empty seat than an away supporter' at Saturday's game and has said he 'has never wanted to win a game of football so badly'.

Norwich are currently second-place in the League One table, but fourth-place Colchester are just six points behind with two games in hand.

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