Wrexham FC v Chester has ‘greater hooligan risk than Manchester derby’

Fans slam suggestion from North Wales Police made during supporters meeting to discuss the ‘bubble match’ against Chester next month


Wrexham has a “proportionally” higher number of potential troublemakers than the likes of Millwall, Manchester United and West Ham.

And according to claims by North Wales Police, there was a greater hooligan risk element at last season’s clash with fierce rivals Chester at the Racecourse than there was at a Manchester derby.

Superintendent Rob Kirman made his comments about the ratio of “risk fans” – reportedly met with laughter from those in attendance – during a Wrexham Supporters Trust meeting on Thursday evening to discuss the forthcoming “bubble match” across the border.

Board member and season ticket holder Richard Ulrich tweeted from the meeting: “The Superintendent has just said that Wrexham’s risk element is larger than Millwall and West Ham risk, cue roars of laughter in the room.”

In a further post, he said: “The Superintendent also said that Wrexham’s ratio of risk fans compared to Man Utd’s risk fans is higher and so is the ratio of bans.”

Dragons fan Andy Pierce, who set up a petition gathering nearly 500 names in a bid to get the controversial restrictions lifted for the game at Chester on September 22, said after the meeting: “I believe we managed to show this type of policing for a Conference fixture for just exactly what it is, ridiculous!

“Superintendent Rob Kirman was laughed at by those in the room on more than one occasion, my personal favourite was just after we’d listed other bubble fixtures and their incomparable size, he tried to say that as a ratio there is a greater hooligan element risk at a Wrexham v Chester game than that of Millwall v West Ham, Cardiff v Swansea and Millwall v Leeds etc.”

When the Daily Post approached North Wales Police for clarification on Supt Kirman’s comments at the meeting, a spokesman said he was referring to the fact that the “risk element was proportionally bigger for Wrexham”.

He explained: “Wrexham has 20 banning orders with gates of around 3,500, while Manchester United has 60 banning orders with gates of 75,000.”

The spokesman claimed a Freedom of Information request revealed that there was a total of 60 “risk fans” for a Manchester derby last season.

“In the game last season (Wrexham v Chester) we identified 100 risk fans inside the ground”, he added.

Mr Pierce said he accepted that it wasn’t going to be realistic to force a u-turn on the restrictions imposed for this season’s derby games, which will see away supporters having to travel on designated coaches.

But added: “We plan to continue the fight to prevent this from happening in the future. We are blessed at Wrexham in that we are a fan owned football club and we are able to put issues regarding the club to a democratic vote. We plan to propose that the next time the subject of bubble policing occurs at Wrexham, that it is put to a members vote.”

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