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Worcester are forced to restrict support for final Lane league fixture
WORCESTER City have been forced to reduce the capacity of St George’s Lane for the final ever league fixture at the ground.
City’s Blue Square Bet North match against champions elect Chester on Saturday, April 27, will be the last competitive game played at the 108-year-old ground before it is demolished for housing.
The club had been hoping to cash in on the historic event by filling the stadium to its limit of 4,523 and have already sold around 2,000 tickets, including 672 to Chester.
However, they could now miss out on up to £7,000 as the number has been reduced by 500 following an evaluation by Worcestershire County Council’s Safety Advisory Group.
Despite approving the Lane’s original capacity at the start of the season, the group, which comprises representatives from the emergency services, have cited a lack of crash barriers on the Brookside terracing.
Around 30 were removed in 2009 as City could not afford to ‘stress test’ them to comply with health and safety regulations.
Vice-chairman Colin Layland accepts the club may miss out on vital funds, assuming they had been able to sell 4,500 tickets, but says that would have been offset by maintaining the barriers.
“At the start of the season they gave us a certificate for 4,500 but they have revised it and it’s been reduced by about 500 because we removed the barriers,” he said.
“We can’t really argue with them because that’s what they said we have to do.
“We removed the barriers because it was too expensive to stress test them at £200 a time. If we had had to pay to have the barriers tested, we would have lost money that way so, as far as I am concerned, it’s levelled itself off.”
He added: “It’s happened and we have got to stick to the rules. We have got to be health and safety conscious.
“Would we have got that extra 500 in because we haven’t sold all the tickets anyway?”
City are urging fans to get their tickets as none will be available on the day of the game. The club have already announced they will give any remaining tickets to Chester, who have requested another 1,300 on top of their initial allocation.
A seat in the main stand costs £14 for adults, £10 concessions and £7 for those aged 16 to 21 and £5 for under 16s.
It is £12, £8, £5 and £3 respectively to stand on the terraces.
Tickets can be purchased at the club office or by calling 01905-23003.