The number of those who are prepared to travel to away games to back their side seems to be taking some Vanarama Conference sides by surprise and that was certainly the case on Saturday when over 2,000 of you made the trip to the Kingfield Stadium to see our game against Woking.
It was a truly magnificent turnout for an away fixture at this level, and the backing you gave the players was outstanding and very much appreciated.
Unfortunately, as many as 200 of you were unable to gain admittance to the ground and we sincerely regret that was the case and have been investigating the reasoning behind the decision to leave so many of you standing outside once the game had kicked off.
Senior staff at the club have been in discussion with Woking officials this morning and they have confirmed that at no time did Bristol Rovers refuse to sell tickets for this match and have issued the following statement on their official website.
Woking Official Statement:
"Last November, when planning the above fixture, there was a misunderstanding between Woking and Bristol Rovers and, consequently, the Club decided to plan ahead for this fixture, working closely together with the police and the Club’s Safety Officer. The Club wish to make it clear that Bristol Rovers did not refuse its request to sell tickets.
The advice and intelligence reports were to expect approximately 1600 to 1700 Bristol Rovers fans to attend the game and the Club’s planning was based on these figures.
Due to the configuration of Kingfield Stadium, the maximum number of away fans the Club can accommodate is 1900, which is written into the Club’s safety certificate.
When the number of away fans reached 1,869, the Club’s Safety Officer and police took the decision that the gates were to be closed and, regrettably, a number of Bristol Rovers supporters were unable to gain entry to the game.
Other parts of the ground were not filled to capacity, but the Club’s safety certificate forbids the mixing of home and away supporters when the game is designated to be a segregated game and, reluctantly, therefore, the Club could not allow the excess fans to enter the ground under any circumstances.
The Club wish to apologise to the Bristol Rovers fans who were unable to see the game, but wish to stress that it must also abide by its safety certificate."
Contrary to reports that appeared in this morning’s newspaper, the capacity for away fans would not have been reduced to 600 if the game had been made all ticket as the away capacity for Kingfield is 1,900 and the official away attendance given by Woking for Saturday’s match was 1,869.
We fully understand the frustration felt by those supporters who traveled to the game and were unable to gain admittance but regret that the situation was beyond our control.