30 April 2009
West Yorkshire police will force visiting Millwall fans to go through the voucher exchange scheme again, should the clubs clash in the League One playoffs - but the Yorkshire visitors to the Den will receive VIP treatment, the 'News' can reveal.
The 1,000 Millwall fans lucky enough to be allocated a ticket for the Elland Road clash will have to exchange a voucher for their match ticket hours before the game at a motorway service station - like they were forced to for the televised league fixture in February.
But Millwall managing director Andy Ambler explained that no such restrictions would be put on the Leeds supporters. He said: "West Yorkshire police, in talks with Leeds United, have imposed the voucher system that was employed for the previous game at Elland Road.
"We will not be imposing the voucher system. It is not the way that the Met police want to police the game. We will restrict tickets at their request. "In the past these games have gone off pretty well. I cannot complain about any issues. Clearly every Millwall fan has a part to play in making sure this game goes without incident.
"It's vitally important for the football club, going forward, that we can host games in the Championship with similar attendances and that they are trouble free."
Rumours that no away fans would be allowed at either playoff semi were put to bed when both Leeds and Millwall released a joint statement on Tuesday night on the 1,000 away allocations.
"The various rumours have been noted by the club," said Ambler. "But we don't know where it came from. To ban away supporters - you would just get away fans getting into the home area, it's as simple as that.
"It is a good agreement between the two clubs. What one gets, the other gets."
Ambler went on to condemn the actions of the 250 fans who invaded the pitch at the Lions' last home game of the season. The club, aided by the police, took the decision not to allow the players to return for a lap of honour over safety fears.
Ambler said: "We were hugely disappointed, as were the players, by the scenes at the end of the game. It would have been quite important, going into the playoffs, for the players to come out and thank the fans - and vice versa.
"It is very difficult to stop people when there are that many running on to the pitch and they clearly outnumber the stewards.
There were end of season pitch invasions up and down the country, but when you specifically ask people not to encroach so that the players can come back out - it would be nice for those requests to be heeded."
Ambler's frustration was matched by small pockets of Millwall fans in the upper tiers who booed and jeered the fans who made it on to the pitch and prevented the customary lap of honour.
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