Chester and Wrexham have confirmed that fixtures between the two teams this season will remain as all-ticket fixtures.
Since 2013 both games between the two clubs were designated as “bubble matches”, meaning restrictions were placed upon supporters travelling to the game.
These were described as draconian in the local press.
Bubble match restrictions meant that away supporters would be transported to and from the game under police escort, a move many felt took the life out of an always-passionate fixture.
The measures will remain in place this season, although the clubs hope to move away from them as revealed in a statement released on Monday morning.
It read “Following joint planning meetings in relation to the Wrexham AFC and Chester FC fixtures for the coming season, all parties, including Chester and Wrexham Football Clubs, Cheshire Police and North Wales Police have agreed that in the continued interests of safety, both games will remain all ticket, with supporters travelling to the matches on officially organised coaches.
It must be stressed that all parties are committed to working towards returning these fixtures to ‘normality’ with standard kick off times and independent travel.
For this coming season, progression towards that end has resulted in all parties agreeing that the Wrexham home match will take place with a 12.15pm kick off (due to live TV coverage) and that the Chester home fixture will have a 3pm kick off.
Both games will remain subject to ‘safe transport’ arrangements.
The driving factors behind the implementation of these conditions remain to, reduce the potential for disorder, ensuring the safety of fans, residents & visitors to Wrexham and Chester town/city centers and minimal disruption to local communities and businesses.
During the last three seasons, with these conditions in place we have continued to see a decline in the number of people arrested at the fixtures and there has been a noticeable absence of any disorder or disruption to the communities outside of the two stadiums.
Two well contested and incident free fixtures will see these arrangements reviewed and will further support consideration of a move towards 3pm kick offs and independent travel.
However, incidents of disorder or damage to either stadium will not be tolerated and will give grounds for concern that the games cannot take place without continued safe transport arrangements.
Planning for the fixture continues and the Clubs will be announcing the detailed ticketing arrangements in due course on their websites”