Wednesday, October 21

A 'welcoming' message from Barnsley police

South Yorkshire Police has published advice for the 5,800 Manchester United supporters set to make the trip to Barnsley for the Carling Cup tie on Tuesday.

You can see the full document, written by Superintendent David Hartley
here but the edited highlights are as follows.

"Arrive in good time.
"Don’t try to enter the ground drunk – you will be
"I ask you, don’t go to the town Centre.
"Make use of the ground and adjoining Metrodome Complex, which has a capacity of 750 to 1,000 and also has a big screen, bar facilities and food – all bespoke for away
"Don’t become involved in aggressive or abusive behaviour.
"If you are caught innocently in a police tactic holding supporters, please bear in mind decisions are not taken lightly and any such action will be needed to either identify and control trouble causers or to allow us to filter normal supporters away.
"Sometimes this is the only way we can keep the honest and peaceful majority safe."

So, what does this tell us about what South Yorkshire Police are expecting on Tuesday?

Well, first, people familiar with the Metrodome Complex tell us the bar capacity is not 1,000 - it's more like 300.

Second, even with 300 people in, waiting time would be 30 minutes at worst - enough to put most people off.

Third, even if the capacity is 1,000 - where are the other 4,800 going to drink if not the town centre?

We have asked these questions, quite politely, in an email to South Yorkshire Police in the hope that they can provide some constructive feedback.

But while we're on the subject. Two more questions.

First, why exactly is Supt Hartley asking reds to stay out of town? Does he think they're in danger or pose a danger?

And second, recent evidence of United taking large crowds to lower-division clubs show there has been little to no anti-social behaviour. Southampton, Derby and (even going as far back as) Southend were all why the need for holding tactics?

If you have any thoughts on the matter, email us at

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