Wright defends early kick-off decision

No choice: Ken Wright
No choice: Ken Wright

Chorley chairman Ken Wright expects a smaller crowd to watch Saturday’s match with FC United at Victory Park, but defended the early kick-off time.

The club moved the time back to 11.30am after meetings with the police, because FC United attract a big following.

On Monday it was pushed back to 12.30pm but FC Utd refused their allocation of 520 tickets. Although there’s no history of problems between the two sides, Chorley was determined to avoid a repeat of the crowd violence that ruined their game against Chester City in February, when 3,223 people turned out.

Mr Wright told the Guardian: “I expect a lower turnout with it being an early kick-off. It’s ticket only, so we’ll have a better idea once we’ve counted up receipts.

“Obviously they’ll be a financial loss, there’s fewer people coming. A decision was made between ourselves and the police in the interest of public safety.”

When asked if he had a message for the fans, Wright stated: “Enjoy the game, obviously good behaviour, but we’ve never had a problem, apart from the Chester game, so I don’t think that’ll be an issue.”

Opposition fans have posted a lot of criticism on Twitter of the club’s decision to have an early kick-off. Chorley released this statement: “It is unfortunate that we are in this situation.

“These decisions have been taken to reduce any potential of a repeat of the incidents that took place before and after our fixture with Chester FC, at Victory Park, last season.

“Then, a small minority of individuals not connected to either club, tarnished what should have been a famous day for Chorley FC, and put the safety of innocent, football loving supporters of both clubs at risk inside and outside the ground.”