Outspoken Colchester United chairman Robbie Cowling has assured supporters that this weekend’s derby ding-dong will pass without any problems.
With emotions running high in both parts of East Anglia, after Paul Lambert’s move up the A140 and the U’s subsequent call for a City points deduction, it promises to be a fiery affair.
But after Cowling refused to extend Norwich’s initial 1,900 allocation, stating that he’d rather have an empty seat than one filled with a City supporter, he has come in for some criticism, with potential disorder now a worry.
It is thought that many fans of the Norfolk club – possibly hundreds – have secured seats in the home areas and while many have had their tickets cancelled, City fans who have managed to secure seats with a non-Norfolk postcode will be allowed in to the Weston Homes Community stadium.
It will be impossible to prove where their allegiances lie and this has caused some worry that with feeling running high, there is potential for flashpoints.
But the U’s chairman is confident they’ve done everything they can to ensure the League One clash goes off without any unsavoury incidents.
“I know there’s a little rivalry between the clubs but at the moment, that’s probably more at board level than anywhere else,” Cowling told the Colchester Gazette.
“I think the fans of the two clubs generally get on well and I don’t see there being any problems.
“We’re confident we’ve got everything in place to cope with the occasion.”