Chief executive Michael Dunford has today responded to queries from a few supporters regarding Mansfield Town’s ticket allocation for next month’s game at the Proact Stadium.
The Stags have been allocated 2,740 tickets for the fixture on Saturday, April 14 (1pm). Their fans will be located in the North Stand and in two bays in the East Stand.
Dunford has assured supporters that the decision has been taken with the supporters’ safety being their primary concern. He said: “It is a high-profile game, given the clubs’ respective positions at the moment and the local rivalry, so both clubs are going to be under pressure.
“We will never compromise the safety of supporters in this stadium. We will always comply with the safety certificate and the provisions that are within that.
“As well as the North Stand, we have the option to allocate bays one and two in the East Stand to the visiting club, if there is the demand. This is only offered if they first sell-out the North Stand. We offered the same facility to Notts County and Lincoln City.
“If the demand from our supporters was greater than what it is likely to be, then there is no question we would reduce the allocation to the visitors.
“The police presence will be a lot more than normal and I am confident that we can manage any issues that occur during the day. Tony Booker, our ground safety officer, is in regular contact with the local police and the licensing authority. We have a fantastic relationship with the local authority and all the emergency services.
“There is a commercial aspect that you have to consider. Also, if we reduced the number of tickets to Mansfield, you will find that Mansfield fans will come across here and try and buy tickets within home areas, which can lead to more trouble. Once you have got pockets of visiting supporters in with our own supporters, that could potentially cause problems.
“To counteract this, we have agreed to sell home tickets only to supporters who are currently on our database, having purchased tickets either this season or last season.”
Dunford says that he understands the concerns raised by some fans, but stresses that this decision has only been made following careful consideration. “Our safety team, the local authority and the police are happy with the arrangements we have made,” he commented.
“I would love to see a police-free game here but, realistically, it is a local derby. It is very similar to Derby County against Nottingham Forest and situations like that. There will be a higher police presence at this game than any other game this season. For Notts County, Lincoln City and Mansfield Town, the total police cost will be in excess of £50,000, which is an awful lot of money.
“We have not made any decision here that we have not given deep consideration to, leading up to the announcement of the ticket sales arrangements.”