Bristol City’s hopes of taking a full contingent to Cardiff for this month’s Severnside derby showdown have been hit by the return of restrictions for travelling fans. Robins supporters have been allocated 1,500 tickets for the Championship fixture, which will take place at the Cardiff City Stadium on Monday 26 October 2015.
These are due to go on sale tomorrow morning online to season ticket holders, but a combination of travel restrictions and coverage of the game live on Sky Sports TV could put fans off making the journey to the Welsh capital. Strict rules governing away supporters at Severnside derby matches were lifted three seasons ago, only to be restored following trouble the last time the two sides met in Cardiff in February 2013.
That fixture was not designated a “bubble match” – a game considered by police to pose a greater risk of crowd trouble – and fans were allowed to choose their own method of transport. But disorder flared among a small minority of fans outside the stadium and in a nearby pub following the match, prompting both clubs and local police forces to reconsider their stance.
Following lengthy discussions, the decision has been taken to re-impose restrictions on the free movement of travelling supporters. As a consequence, City fans will be required to collect tickets from Cardiff West Services at junction 33 of the M4 on their way to the match between 6.15 and 6.45pm. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 7.45pm.
A statement on Bristol City’s website said: “The club fully appreciates this will have an impact on the majority of City fans, whose only intention is to support their team in a law-abiding manner.
“It is the club’s hope that the fixture passes off without incident, meaning these unfortunate restrictions can be lifted once more in the future.”
Those City supporters who choose to travel to the game, will be issued with a match voucher, which can then be exchanged for a ticket at Cardiff West Services on the night of the game. While season ticket holders can purchase online from 10am today, phone sales will begin on Tuesday, October 20. Members will be able to buy online from Monday, October 19 at 10am with phone sales available the next day.
Any remaining tickets will be placed on sale from Wednesday, October 21.
The return fixture takes place at Ashton Gate on Saturday, March 5, with a midday kick-off, and the same travel restrictions will be in place for visiting Cardiff fans.