Feb 062015
Everton FC Derby Day Planning Video loading

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Everton FC and police have revealed the plans being put in place to ensure a trouble-free derby day.

The arrangements are being made after Merseyside Police withdrew their legal challenge to bring forward the (Free £25 bet offer) Kick-off time from 5.30pm after an out-of-court compromise was reached.

The police had said that there was an increased risk of drunken disorder if the match started late in the afternoon, with fans spending more time drinking before the televised match starts.

In the run up to the match, Everton and Liverpool fans are being urged not to drink to excess.

And among the plans are limiting the half-time drinking period at Goodison Park to 15 minutes.

Dave Lewis, Everton’s head of security and stadium safety officer, said: “There are certain things that we do for high-profile matches – of which the derby is obviously one – and some added measures that we bring in, as we would if it was Chelsea, Manchester United or whoever.

“This is a normal Premier League fixture and the ground regulations will apply, and that means Liverpool supporters are not allowed in home areas. If they are in home areas, they may be removed from the ground if it causes a problem. And that’s the same as it is for any Premier League side whose supporters manage to get into home areas.”

Mr Lewis said following consultation with supporters’ groups both from Everton and Liverpool as well as police and council officers, there will be some changes in force.

He said: “One of those is that, following concerns about the consumption of alcohol, there will be a reduction in the half-time drinking period. It will now just be 15 minutes, rather than the usual 30 minutes. But alcohol will still be available before the kick off and at half-time if everyone’s behaviour is where it should be.

“We’re always out to make sure Goodison Park is a safe place to visit and our main aim is always to make sure everyone comes here, enjoys the game in safety and, most importantly, goes home in the same state they arrived in.

“We will be taking action against individuals who sometimes let us down. Sadly, in the past, people have thrown things on to the pitch or come on to the pitch themselves. It’s not acceptable, it portrays the club in a bad light and these people are letting their club down.”

Meanwhile Police Superintendent Chris Markey warned fans to arrive early for the game because there will be a “selective search operation” in place at the ground.

He said the force’s policing style will be “firm, fair and friendly as it always is at football matches on Merseyside”.

He added: “As such officers will be doing all they can to ensure supporters are safe and can enjoy the occasion both at the stadium and elsewhere.

“At the last derby in September there were no major issues and I am sure supporters of both clubs would want to further enhance the reputation of football on Merseyside as ambassadors for their clubs and the city whilst contributing to the atmosphere inside the ground.

“Fans have been afforded more time before the game to socialise and have a drink. This is all part of the match day experience however I am urging supporters not to drink to excess, which can result in anti-social or even criminal behaviour.

“I would also remind all fans that anyone who is deemed to be drunk will not be permitted to enter the stadium.”

Read more on the Merseyside derby in our dedicated channel here

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