Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 15:56 UK

Fans' anger at M1 ticket pick-up

Elland Road
37,000 people are expected at tonight's game

A football supporters' club has criticised a police decision to make fans pick up tickets from an M1 service station ahead of a semi-final play-off.

Millwall fans have to collect tickets for the game against Leeds at Elland Road just before kick-off on Thursday.

Bob Asprey, chairman of Millwall Supporters' Club, said: "Never before have we had to pitch up to a motorway service area on the day of a match."

Police said it meant only fans with pre-booked tickets could get access.

Millwall have been allocated 1,000 tickets for the second-leg tie of the League One play-off, in which they lead 1-0.

Mr Asprey said: "I think it's disgraceful.

Only one hour

"We've got 1,000 supporters turning up there and they've only given us an hour in which to be there and exchange our tickets."

Millwall fans have purchased vouchers from their home ground and need to exchange these for tickets when they arrive at a service station on the M1.

They say that police have given them between 1700 and 1800 BST to exchange their coupons for tickets.

A police spokesman said: "Fans have been given around one hour to pick up their tickets, this limits the opportunity for trouble to occur between the times of picking up the tickets and the match starting."

Mr Asprey said: "You could say that is one of the excitements of following this club, you never quite know what is going to be thrown at you when you go to away games.

"We have been limited to a 1,000 tickets and for a game of this magnitude it is a pretty poor show."

A spokesman for Leeds United said: "The ticket allocation mirrors the amount given to the Leeds fans for the first leg.

"The decision to allocate a 1,000 tickets for both legs was made by the two clubs and the police forces involved."

The club said it had sold fewer than 900 tickets to Millwall fans.

At last weekend's first-leg game, there was a pitch invasion after Millwall scored.

In a statement West Yorkshire Police said: "The force will ensure proper policing is provided for the game as it does all football matches. Any offences that are seen to be committed will be dealt with positively."

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