Hull fan may sue police after away trip to Huddersfield is put in doubt

Hull's match against Huddersfield on 30 March is the subject of strict policing. Photo: PA

A 15-year-old football fan has threatened legal action against a police force, claiming restrictions on tickets and travel will make it impossible for many supporters to attend a Championship match.

Hull City fan Louis Cooper, from Manchester, has instructed lawyers to challenge the restrictions put in place by West Yorkshire Police for the Tigers' game against Huddersfield Town next month.

Louis said the rules, which say away fans will only be admitted to the stadium in Huddersfield if they travel from Hull in the club's official transport, will cause him to miss his first away match of the season.

The restrictions, which also limit the number of City tickets to 1,500, were put in place after the kick-off time was changed to 5.20pm to allow the game to be televised.

Louis said: "The police have made it impossible for a lot of fans to go to the game. It has been done without consulting fans and doesn't reflect what has happened at previous games.

"I travel from Manchester to home and away games and this will be the first away game I will miss this season.

"I have travelled to Beijing to watch Hull City and have done so without restrictions.

"I hope the police change their mind sooner rather than later."

Lochlinn Parker, who is representing Louis for Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors, said: "Fans like Louis are baffled as to why the police have categorised this game at the highest risk level and placed restrictions on the free movement of fans.

"We believe the decision is unlawful and will be writing to the police shortly to ask them to drop the restrictions. We hope that they will but, if not, then we will be left with no alternative but to make an application for judicial review of the decision."

The Football Supporters' Federation (FSF) also criticised the restrictions on the match on March 30.

"It is unusual for football fans to seek a remedy through the courts but on this occasion they seem to be left with no alternative," Amanda Jacks, director of case work at the FSF, said.

"As with any case, legal action is always a last resort and we sincerely hope West Yorkshire Police will drop these restrictions on ordinary, law-abiding people, enabling them to travel to this match unimpeded."

West Yorkshire Police said the restrictions had been imposed to control the number of fans and to reduce drinking, which could cause a risk to the public in Huddersfield.

Superintendent Ged McManus said: "The change in the kick-off time for the Huddersfield Town v Hull City football match at the end of March is purely to allow Sky Sports to broadcast the match live - it has not been requested by West Yorkshire Police.

"However, in order to facilitate this change, a number of conditions were necessary to ensure that the match can be safely policed.

"We have asked for these restrictions to enable us to control the amount of fans attending the match and reduce the level of alcohol consumption, therefore decreasing any risk to the wider public in Huddersfield and reducing the cost of policing such a match for West Yorkshire residents.

"I understand that these measures will not be to everyone's liking but they are a result of consultation between ourselves, both football clubs and the Football League."