Bosses at Stockport County say they have ‘reluctantly’ cancelled their pre-season friendly against Burnley’s reserves following talks with Greater Manchester Police over hooligan fears.
The match was due to be held on July 28 – the same day that Burnley’s first team was playing in another friendly match at Fleetwood in Lancashire. Stockport County said the police had informed the club that the fixture at Edgeley Park would require ‘Category A’ police resources, which, although the lowest grade, would still require police officers to be on duty alongside club stewards.
The club says this was based on intelligence which the police believed indicated the potential for disorder in or around the ground. A spokesman for Stockport County said: “In light of the proposed costs to police this fixture, the board of Stockport County Football Club has decided not to proceed with the match.
“We are disappointed that we will not be able to play against Burnley’s youngsters, but the bill runs into several thousand pounds, so with a very heavy heart we have opted to cancel the match completely.
“Despite Burnley’s first team also playing on July 28 at Fleetwood, the police intelligence led them to believe there was a risk to our own fixture, so we are left with no alternative.”
Football clubs have to foot the bill for policing inside inside and around their grounds during matches. Costs vary according to fixture – with extra officers drafted in to police certain games, such as local derby matches.
Stockport and Burnley last met in a league match in the old League Division One in 2002. Burnley Football Club said the cancellation of the match was a matter for Stockport County and declined to comment.
A GMP spokesman said: “Following notification of a proposed friendly match between Stockport County and Burnley FC, Greater Manchester Police recommended the fixture be policed.
“The force has since been notified the proposed match has now been cancelled.”