BUCKLEY Town’s chairman has criticised police after claiming they advised him to call off tonight’s high-profile friendly against Chester FC.
The match, organised earlier this month by Chester manager Neil Young and Buckley Town boss Gareth Thomas, will definitely go ahead with about 600 fans expected to attend.
Buckley Town chairman Wayne Emberton was delighted when the fixture was announced and says he contacted North Wales Police to inform them the game would be taking place.
But he was stunned when officers told him they did not want the match to be played and if the game took place no alcohol should be sold and the club would have to foot any policing bills.
South Flintshire inspector Andy Griffiths insists police are happy for the game to go ahead but Mr Emberton is disappointed with the way the matter has been handled.
He said: “We informed the police about the match and were told they would not recommend the game going ahead.
“We were shocked because we are not anticipating any problems. The old Chester club played here many times and they were always really good.
“Friendlies against Chester and Wrexham are the kind of games we look for every season because they bring money into the club. We decided to go ahead with the game and we are looking forward to it and are expecting a great night.”
Mr Emberton believes the advice he was given was due to crowd trouble when Chester played Colwyn Bay in 2010.
“It is not fair to tar all Chester fans with the same brush. There are lots of Chester supporters who live in this area,” he said.
“The police also advised us not to sell alcohol and we have decided that we will only sell it to the directors and sponsors.
“We have only just got our alcohol licence but it is all new to us and because of that we are being extra careful.
“We have been told that if the police have to send officers then we will have to pay but they are not invited.”
Insp Griffiths said North Wales Police are happy with the arrangements put in place and had not asked for the game to be cancelled.
“We do not have any issue with the game,” he said.
“We have been in touch with Cheshire Police colleagues and there is no intelligence to suggest there will be any problems.”
Mr Emberton said money raised from the match would go towards the new £70,000 stand the club is hoping to build.
He said: “Our ambition is to get the ground ready for the Welsh Premier League and we are working towards that.
“Games like this will show we are capable of holding big games in the future too.”