FANS at Burnley’s eagerly-awaited derby clash with arch rivals Blackburn Rovers on Sunday are being urged to be on their best behaviour.
In an unusual move, both clubs issued a joint statement ahead of the tinderbox East Lancashire derby at Turf Moor asking fans to enjoy the match in the right way.
“We encourage all supporters attending this game to respect each other and the authorities.
“An East Lancashire derby between our two historic clubs is always a special occasion and we hope Sunday’s match will be remembered for the action on the pitch and the positive backing of both sets of supporters.
“We acknowledge that there will be some disruption to the normal matchday schedule. However, this has been done with the safety of all supporters in mind and all fans should be aware that breaches of stadium regulations – including anti-social behaviour – will not be tolerated.
“Burnley and Blackburn Rovers also have a zero tolerance for discrimination of any sort, on the pitch or in the stands.
“If you experience any form of discrimination before, during or after the game, or require assistance, please contact a matchday steward. We look forward to welcoming you to Turf Moor.”
An early kick-off of 12-30pm has been scheduled for the Championship clash which sees the Clarets go into the game in 14th place but just a point behind Rovers who sit 10th in the league.
The 3,000 Blackburn supporters will be bussed in from Blackburn and are asked to arrive at Ewood Park at 9am.
Supt Terry Woods said: “The primary aim of our operation is to ensure public safety and get people to and from the ground safely. We will have extra officers on duty to assist supporters.
“We will deal with any disorder and people should be warned that as well as being dealt with on the day we will also look to secure banning orders on offenders.
“Burnley fans should allow extra time for travelling to the game and check before which roads will be closed.”
Clarets Trust chairman Peter Pike said: “We all look forward to this renewed contest, knowing that it will pulse with sparky energy and hoarse emotions but please let us enjoy the locking of horns without losing all sense of perspective.”