Huddersfield Town explain decision behind Hull City travel row
HUDDERSFIELD Town face a football league points reduction if the match against Hull City is not shown live on Sky Sports.
Hull City fans are furious West Yorkshire Police are making them travel to the derby next month on official coaches from the city – even though some fans live in Huddersfield.
The Tigers' have also only been given 1,500 tickets, when 4,000 can normally be accommodated in the away end.
Huddersfield Town chief executive, Nigel Clibbens, said the club, like Hull City, has a contractual obligation as a member of the league to facilitate Sky TV games under the Football League contract.
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He said: "If we couldn't fulfil this, we could be subject to sanctions – including a possible points deduction.
"The Football League approached us in January to inform us our game against Hull was selected for live Sky TV coverage.
"We contacted the West Yorkshire Police to inform them as usual, but they requested a meeting and subsequently two days later they informed us they would not sanction the change in kick-off time to 5.20pm due to their risk assessment and the additional financial burden this would place on them."
However, following a meeting between both clubs and the police, it was agreed the kick-off time could be changed from 12.30pm to 5.30pm if the capacity for away fans was restricted, it was the highest price category for match tickets, the travelling restrictions were implemented, it was an all ticket for home and away fans and only home fans with ticket purchasing history could buy home tickets.
Mr Clibbens said: "Being faced with the unenviable prospect of not fulfilling the Sky TV contract and the huge potential implications for the club, we are just very relieved the game is to be staged.
"The real people who suffer are the normal everyday Hull fans who just want to support their team but have to abide by the restrictions.
"We are really grateful for the support of Hull City in helping us deal with the issue and agreeing to the conditions, which mean that WYP was willing to move from its original position to sanction the game.
"The Football League also told us that no club in the history of all the Sky agreements had failed to fulfil its TV obligations – every team must have one live televised home game. At the same time, we recognise the issues and difficulties faced by the police."