Thursday 18 January 2018

Newcastle and Sunderland slam ‘false and absurd’ police claims

Newcastle United and Sunderland have released a joint statement that has rubbished police claims over derby-kick off times and restrictions.

The North-East clubs decided to come together to respond to what they feel are “false and absurd” claims by Northumbria Police that they are not in a position to direct changes to kick-off times for derby matches.

“Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC are surprised and disappointed with the statement issued yesterday by Northumbria Police in which the force claims that the police cannot direct changes to kick-off times for the clubs' fixtures, referring in particular to the derby games,” the statement read.

“Over a number of years both clubs have made repeated representations to Northumbria Police to try and reach agreement over kick-off times to enable a traditional 3pm kick-off or later to enable broadcasters to give the game consideration in the majority of their time slots for live coverage.”

The statement went on to highlight how other derby fixtures in the Premier League have been fixed for later times than has been allowed for the Tyne-Wear derby.

“Police forces up and down the country have been able to police high-profile derby matches for years, including most recently the first Welsh derby in the Premier League, Cardiff v Swansea, on Sunday 3rd November at 4:00pm, Arsenal v Tottenham at 5:15pm on Saturday 4th January, and Manchester City v Manchester United on Sunday 22nd September at 4:00pm.”  

“In recent years Northumbria Police have rejected every request made by the clubs for later kick-off slots including Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 4:00pm and Monday 8:00pm.”

“For Northumbria Police therefore to issue a statement stating that they do not direct changes to kick-off times is quite frankly false and absurd - and conflicts with the respectful and responsible manner in which both Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC have engaged with the police over many years with regard to the derby fixture.”

Both clubs added that they will inform the Premier League that all future fixtures between the two clubs will be available for kick-off times to suit the clubs and that they will expect Northumbria Police to police these games accordingly.

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