I initially supported the police because we recognise what they’re saying about the strain on their resources in terms of the extra resourcing demands for the game given the late kick-off on a Saturday night. This was rejected by the Premier League.

While I respect the police’s judgment, the council’s legal responsibility is in regulating safety at the football ground. On that score, the licensing committee’s decision last week to give the go-ahead was entirely right.

What this case highlights though is the need for national-level discussions between the police, the Premier League and football authorities. They need to get their heads together and fix this issue for the sake of fans everywhere.


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