'Cannot go ahead' - Bournemouth supporters contact police over Leeds United Bank Holiday clash
A Bournemouth supporters group has contacted Dorset Police with concerns over the scheduled April 2023 Bank Holiday Premier League meeting with Leeds United.
The confirmation that the 2022/23 Premier League fixtures will send Leeds to Bournemouth on April 29 next year inevitably sparked memories of events in 1990 when Leeds won promotion back to the top flight on the May 5 Bank Holiday and the day was soured by riots and damage estimated at £1m. Thousands of ticketless Leeds fans travelled down to the south coast and there were running battles in the town, on the beach and outside the ground, with 120 arrests made.
Responding to comments about the potential for trouble at next season's fixture, based on what happened 32 years ago, the Cherries Trust Tweeted: "We will be making as much noise as we can till this gets changed. This fixture cannot go ahead on this or any other Bank Holiday weekend."
The Trust then contacted Dorset Police with their concerns and duly published the response they received on Twitter. It read: "We completely understand your concerns and are aware of the situation. At this time I cannot comment as to what interactions Dorset Police has had with the Premier League regarding this matter but a statement will be issued with more information in due course."
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Bournemouth Police have since released a statement which reads: "As with all AFC Bournemouth games, Dorset Police was consulted about the fixture dates. We will assess and monitor how the season progresses and will be able to make a representation to the authorities to change the home fixture against Leeds United in April 2023 if required. Each football game is assessed based on current up-to-date intelligence. Information will be shared with AFC Bournemouth as the season progresses and any decision to request a change of fixture date will be jointly agreed with the club.”
Leeds have travelled to face Bournemouth on three occasions since 1990. In 2007 Bournemouth successfully requested that the fixture be moved to midweek and police dogs lined the pitch to prevent any trouble at full-time. The last two meetings between the clubs on the south coast also took place in midweek. The Premier League liaises with clubs before the formal release of the fixture list each summer and work through any issues.
The YEP has contacted the Cherries Trust for comment.