Huddersfield travel talks 'moving in Hull City's favour', Assem Allam says
THE row between Hull City fans and West Yorkshire Police over travel restrictions for the match against Huddersfield could be resolved.
The police force is in talks with both clubs to reach a compromise after imposing restrictions on City fans planning to travel to the away game.
City fans had been ordered to travel on official coaches leaving from Hull and tickets were restricted to 1,500, when the away stand capacity is 4,000.
Now, West Yorkshire Police and Hull City owner Assem Allam are hinting a deal could be reached to end the row after the force came under pressure from fans and politicians.
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Mr Allam said: "There have been discussions continuously and I've been told it is moving forward in our favour."
West Yorkshire Police's assistant chief constable Craig Guildford said: "We are in negotiations and are speaking to both football clubs to address the issues that have been raised regarding some fans travelling to the Huddersfield Town v Hull City match at the end of March.
"Discussions will be taking place this week and we will update the public when a decision is reached."
The development comes after Tigers fan Louis Cooper, 15, instructed law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn to challenge the restrictions.
A letter requesting a relaxation of the restrictions will be sent to the force today.
If it is unsuccessful, an application will be made for a judicial review over the sanction which sees City supporters having to travel to the match next month on official coaches from Hull – regardless of where they live.
Police claim the restrictions are necessary to allow the match to be policed safely and effectively.
Louis, who lives in Manchester and travels to every Hull City home and away game, said he would have to travel 350 miles to the game and back, when the ground is only 30 miles away from his house.
Andy Dalton, editor of Amber Nectar fanzine, has missed just two away games in 13 years.
"It is very commendable what Louis is doing," he said.
"The fact a 15-year-old is trying to instill some common sense is quite embarrassing for the police.
"We should not have to threaten the police with legal action to watch a football match.
"City supporters are united in this. Louis has got everyone's support."
Tigers fans have inundated the Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) with more than 150 emails complaining about West Yorkshire Police's decision.
Hundreds of people have visited Louis's blog, in which he says he feels he is being treated like a criminal.
The match on March 30 was originally set for 12.30pm, but kick-off has now been changed to 5.20pm because the game is to be televised on Sky Sports.
West Yorkshire Police originally refused permission for the game to be held at this time, due to cost of policing and concerns at the prospect of away fans drinking in Huddersfield for the hours before the match starts.
They changed their mind when a series of sanctions were agreed, which also includes disabled supporters being allowed to travel to the game independently from Tiger Travel, providing they are only accompanied by their sole carer.
Lawyer Lochlinn Parker, of Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors, said: "We believe the decision is unlawful and the letter to the police is asking them to drop the restrictions.
"We hope they will but, if not, we will be left with no alternative but to make an application for judicial review of the decision."