Rochdale and Oldham have told fans to be on their best behaviour at Spotland this weekend in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s ugly scenes.
In November 2014 the game between the sides was marred by crowd trouble that lead to nine arrests and 28 ejections from the ground.
The clubs have joined forces to tackle the matter, issuing a joint statement on their websites.
“Rochdale and Oldham Athletic would appeal to those supporters attending Saturday’s local derby at Spotland to behave in a manner which befits the status of the club’s which they support,” they said.
“Any anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and Rochdale have arranged extra police and stewarding to ensure supporters of both teams can safely watch the match in a family friendly environment.
“Both clubs would urge all fans to purchase tickets before the deadline on Friday afternoon from their respective ticket offices as there are no ticket sales or cash turnstiles on the day of the game.
“We hope all fans enjoy the match and the continued friendly rivalry between our two clubs.”
The aforementioned fixture of last season also saw some invade the playing area during play and others throw smoke bombs.
Flares were also let off during the match and one man was arrested for being in possession of a potentially-lethal flare.
The actions of that day resulted in both Rochdale and Oldham issuing an apology for the behaviour of their fans.
Rochdale’s statement read: “We would like to apologise to any supporter who got caught up in, or witnessed any of the unsavoury incidents that occurred at Spotland Stadium during Saturday’s match against Oldham Athletic.
“Sadly a small number of individuals provoked unwelcome scenes, where the vast majority of supporters were well behaved and were trying to enjoy the atmosphere of a local derby.”
Meanwhile Oldham were particularly keen to strike down on anyone who took flares to the game.
They said: “Supporters who discharged smoke flares inside the stadium, endangering the safety of fellow Oldham Athletic supporters, must be aware that this is criminal behaviour which will not be tolerated and hat anyone found responsible for such actions risks a lifetime ban from the club.
“As a club however we cannot condone the small minority of fans who risk tarnishing the reputation of Oldham Athletic by behaving in an anti-social manner.”
A new policing plan was implemented for the return fixture in March this year and it is hoped that the policing operation will achieve similar success tomorrow.
Image courtesy of Geograph, with thanks