Yesterday I rushed to buy a ticket for next week’s Welsh Cup match from a man near a folding table. Here’s the ticket.
I rushed to hand over 7 quid because I misunderstood the announcement that Rhyl made earlier this week. I thought that next week’s Welsh Cup match was all-ticket so when I saw the man with the felt covered table I saw opportunity knocking, I wasn’t going to let my life be derailed by faffing or worrying!
When I got home from the match a Facebook status told me “Need tickets for the Bangor end but not for the Rhyl side”. I checked Rhyl’s website and this impression seemed to be correct
The arrangements for the Welsh Cup third round match at the Corbett Sports Stadium on Saturday 07 December are as follows:
- Turnstiles and segregation as per the league match above
- Strict stop and search policy will be in force once again.
- No alcohol to be brought into the stadium.
- On the advice of North Wales Police, this match will be all-ticket for Bangor City fans. Strictly no admittance without a ticket.
I checked Bangor’s website and it definitely seemed to be the correct impression;
Rhyl Football Club has also decided that for the Welsh Cup tie that will take place on Saturday, 7 December, 2013 with a 3.15pm kick off time, admission for Bangor City supporters will be by ticket only. The arrangements concerning the entrance gate and segregated area will be as per the league game.An initial allocation of 500 tickets will be available for purchase.
There was not even a hint of trouble at August’s match in Bangor and there was no desire to create an allocation yesterday. Why are Bangor fans the only ones being subjected to a Welsh Cup ticket allocation? What exactly have we done to deserve this?
The more I thought about it the more the more annoying the situation appeared became. Earlier this season roughly 40 Rhyl fans were awarded virtually half of Nantporth, yesterday roughly 300 Bangor fans were awarded roughly half that space in Belle Vue’s most cramped stand, also the stand with the worst sightlines. Next week there could be more than 500 fans in the same area.
Sadly a tough approach seems to be a standard approach when Bangor fans are concerned and sadly it’s an approach we’re accustomed to it.
Over the last few years we’ve had to cope with; Rhyl pub landlords telling the internet they’re refusing to open for “Bangor Scum” when semi finals are held in the town, being forced to play a Welsh Cup final in Llanelli on a Bank Holiday Monday at 4pm (an 9-10 hour round trip on the last day of a bank holiday weekend) and The New Saints Luxury Football Exerience charging us 3 quid more than their legitimisers to get in.
We have even been refused after-match access to Prestatyn’s social club, and nearby exit, because of, to paraphrase a steward, “comments to the goalkeeper“. Quite astonishingly this happened in the season (last season) that Prestatyn officials were seen to slap a child at Nantporth and hold Bangor’s president against the wall by his lapels at Prestatyn.
To return to the whys and wherefores of next week. It’s a completely unjustified action, the only hints of potential trouble yesterday were 4 pathetic Danny Dyer wannabes feeling safe enough behind the temporary fences to walk around the ground and sing songs about “Inbred Bangor Scum” at us (Rhyl fans don’t like Bangor) and when police stupidity might have allowed the hometown scallies the chance to congregate and wait for the Bangor fans heading to the station by keeping us in the ground for 10 extra minutes.
I’d hate to think that this was all a cynical attempt to limit the amount of Bangor fans at next week’s match or limit the gate receipts that Bangor will receive (clubs split the proceeds from Welsh Cup ties). I’d hate to think that this is the case as this sort of thing is the preserve of The New Saints Luxury Football Experience and I thought that Rhyl, as a proper football club, were above that. Even though Rhyl’s advice, and Breaking News banner on their website claim the situation has arisen because of the “Instructions of North Wales Police” it makes you wonder.
This situation is a sad comment upon British society in 2013. The mania for social control is at such a level that even the fans of semi-pro, AKA “amateur”, football are subject to the whims of the people that exert social control. In reality Bangor fans do nothing more than behave like all civilized football fans; we meet in pubs, have a few drinks, tell a few stories, watch a match, have a few more drinks and then go home.
If you don’t believe my jaundiced eye, here’s a letter sent to Rhyl’s local weekly paper after 2011 Welsh Cup Semi-Final held in Rhyl;