THE CHAIRMAN of the Clarets Trust supporters group has called for supporters of both sides not to lose ‘perspective’ ahead of this weekend’s East Lancashire derby.
Burnley and Blackburn meet for the first time this season on Sunday lunchtime at Turf Moor and a large policing operation has been in place to ensure the day passes off without trouble.
Rovers have sold out their allocation for the away end and their 3,400 fans will be bused into Burnley by around 60 coaches, the first of which will leave Ewood Park at 10am.
And the match looks like being a sell-out with only 200 or so tickets left for the home ends at Turf Moor.
Peter Pike, chairman of the Clarets Trust, said: “Our clashes with Rovers have generally been feisty, febrile affairs.
“Even the FA Youth Cup semi-final last season attracted a strong police presence in and around the ground and on local public transport.
“We all look forward to this renewed contest, knowing that it will pulse with sparky energy and hoarse emotions but please let us enjoy the locking of horns without losing all sense of perspective. Enjoy the game but remember it is a game.”
Burnley fan and former Prime Minister’s spokesman Alistair Campbell said he would be back in town for the game.
“I am going to the game and I’m hopeful Burnley can get the win, we have been playing well recently,” he said.
“Hopefully there will be a good atmosphere for both sets of fans without it being violent.”
Mr Campbell said he was hoping for ‘bragging rights’ over former Government colleague and Blackburn MP Jack Straw, who is a regular at Ewood Park.
Mr Straw said: “I will be at the game with my children. It’s about 17 years since I last missed an East Lancashire derby.
“These are always passionate affairs but there is no reason for people to take it out on each other or the town.”
As well as a ferocious local derby there will be gold on show, with Colne’s Olympic champion cyclist Steven Burke carrying out the half-time draw.
With tickets flying off the shelves for the fixture the Clarets have also offered fans a special extra corporate deal.
They have teamed up with Cliviger restuarant Nino’s to offer a deal for Sunday, which will include a pre-match meal at the restaurant, followed by an executive coach to Turf Moor to watch the game from the padded seating.
Following the game people will be taken back by coach to Nino’s for tapas and live entertainment.