A police boss has hailed the decision to “burst the bubble” after travel restrictions on fans were lifted for the next football derby between Wrexham and Chester as a victory for common sense.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones was delighted to learn to learn that there will be a return to normal policing for the game at the Deva Stadium at 7.45pm on Friday, November 10.
The commissioner urged both sets of fans to be on their best behaviour to ensure there was no return to the bubble restrictions.
A review of the arrangements was conducted after there was no trouble at the two games last season.
The restrictions meant that fans were ferried to the so called “bubble matches” by designated transport only.
The restrictions were introduced five years ago to curb the potential for clashes between fans.
Mr Jones, a Wrexham supporter, campaigned against the restrictions from the outset, saying they were a restriction on civil liberties.
He said: “I am delighted the Chester game will be this season will be policed in the traditional fashion and that there will be no bubble.
“I would like to thanks the two clubs and the two police forces, North Wales and Cheshire, for their joint decision which is a victory for common sense.
“I’ve been campaigning for this prior to being elected and since Police and Crime Commissioner and I am pleased the restrictions have been lifted.
“It’s down now to the fans to show that they can behave. Any squabbles during the Wrexham v Chester game and we’ll be going back to the bubble.
“I’ve done what I can and it’s now down to the fans to show that they can go to a football match and behave in an appropriate manner.
“This is a massively important step and 95 per cent of people who go to watch Wrexham and Chester will be over the moon that they don’t have to put up with these disproportionate restrictions.
“I think the fans from both clubs will respond appropriately and I think it will be a very good day for derby matches.
“It’s also going to mean bigger crowds and both clubs will benefit from bigger gate receipts which will also boost the local economies.
“It’s a win win for everybody apart from the hooligan element who will be policed out if they behave inappropriately.
“The fans will be treated like human beings and that’s the important thing. It’s important we don’t target ordinary football fans just because of the behaviour of a small minority.
“I’m afraid that’s what’s been happening in the past, and I just welcome a return to proportionate policing of football matches.”