Guidelines highlight inequality between football and other events
18 January ~ The laws around fans travelling to football via coach are “draconian and intrusive”, according to Football Supporters’ Federation caseworker Amanda Jacks. The Traffic Commissioners’ Guidelines require coach companies to inform police when groups of fans book coaches, that they don’t stop within ten miles of the “venue” either to or from the “event” unless the police give prior agreement, arrival and departure times according to the kick-off time are specified and that fans may only stop for meals at venues where alcohol is available but only if that is sold ancillary to a substantial meal with prior agreement from by the police.
According to Jacks it is “yet another example of how law abiding football fans are treated entirely differently from the rest society with very little scrutiny by the media or those who rightly champion civil liberties for all unless they’re fans of football. I can only imagine the outcry if these so called guidelines were inflicted on anybody else attending a lawful activity – be it a stag weekend, day out at the coast, concert or cultural or religious event – but because it’s football the police quietly get on with ensuring fans go directly to a match without passing go.” You can read more about restrictions on coach travel for football fans here.
Photo: A Barrow fan arrives in Lowestoft, by Simon Gill for WSC Photography