New exit plan announced for Coleraine fans
Coleraine Football Club has met with Police to try and resolve the exit of fans after games at The Showgrounds.
The recent practice of holding back the home support until the away fans have left the area has drawn widepspread criticism from Coleraine supporters.
It was initially introduced after a number of incidents involving fans from rival teams outside the ground on match days.
The club though have released a statement detailing a new exit plan for forthcoming games, which they hope will help solve any issues.
However they state that if there is any further incidents of trouble following this new arrangement the club would have to revert to holding the home support back again.
The statement on the club’s official website said: “The meeting (with the PSNI) went very well and it was agreed to implement the following on a trial basis for the Linfield game. If this is successful it will be implemented for all future games and prevent the holding back of home fans immediately after the final whistle.
“All home fans are requested not to park their cars above the entrance gate on the Ballycastle Road. This includes Windsor Avenue, the Crescent or Hillmans way. At the end of the game, the home fans will be permitted to exit the ground via the gate at the rear of the Railway End stand onto Hillmans Fancy.
“When they reach the Ballycastle Road they will be required to turn left heading towards the Bushmills Road only. Stewards and Police will prevent home fans from turning right up the Ballycastle Road. The main entrance gate onto the Ballycastle Road will remain shut for 15-30 minutes after the game.
“The Police have decided to guard the entries on the Ballycastle Road and also Windsor Avenue, the Crescent and Harpurs Hill areas. Away fans will not be permitted to turn left when exiting the ground from the away fans gates on the Ballycastle Road. They will be advised to park above the Crescent, but not permitted to park in the Crescent or Windsor Avenue.
“The Police have also undertook to get the away fans buses to leave under escort and have a clear run up to the Ring Road. Hopefully this works and prevents those intent on causing problems from doing so.
“If there is trouble after the game and this plan does not prevent rival fans clashing then, unfortunately, it will be back to holding home fans back until the away fans have exited the ground and immediate area. The club would ask for your support and understanding as we try to ensure your safety.”