Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, has urged the police to "work through" any issues with Newcastle United and Sunderland ahead of next month's Tyne-Wear derby.
The commissioner said:
“The safety of fans, residents and visitors to the city is paramount and Northumbria Police have a duty to ensure public safety at all times, that is why the police welcomed the proposal by Sunderland AFC to provide a safe way of travelling to Newcastle by using coaches provided by the club. I am pleased that this offer remains by the club, however, fans can travel how they wish to St James Park.
It is well known that the police have argued for an earlier kick off and I am pleased that all parties have agreed to this to protect public safety.
I am now urging all parties to sit down and work through any outstanding issues”
The Premier League clash is scheduled to kick off at 12:45pm on Saturday 1 February.