Chesterfield FC fans have been issued a stern warning ahead of this weekend’s clash which could see them clinch the League Two title.
Supporters have been cautioned that they face a ban from the B2net Stadium if they go in to the pitch before, during or after the match.
The Spireites are already promoted and will lift the title if they do not lose against play-off chasing Gillingham.
Chesterfield’s last home game – when Bury secured promotion with a 3-2 verdict on Easter Monday – made national headlines for all the wrong reasons following pitch invasions and an assault on the visiting goalkeeper. Following the disgraceful scenes a 13-year-old boy who is suspected of assault was arrested along with a 16-year-old youth suspected of a public order offence and a 38-year-old man.
The club moved quickly and issued a five-point plan aimed at cracking down on supporters who trangress ground regulations.
Blues bosses are keen to avoid any repetition and issued their ‘keep off’ edict in the build-up to the big game in a bid to make it crystal clear to supporters over what behaviour will not be tolerated.
Extra stewards have been taken on to help things run smoothly with specific instructions to keep entrances and exits clear at all times.
A statement issued by the club said: “Fans are asked to move swiftly to their seats, avoid causing any congestion on pitch-side walk-ways and not to stand in gangways before, during and after the game.
“Stewards have been instructed to prevent any goal celebrations taking place away from the seated areas of the stadium, the pitch-side walk-ways particularly being a no-go area for such activities.
“At the end of the game fans who wish to leave the stadium may do so but will not be allowed to linger on the exit routes, or congregate pitch-side, or in the corners of the stadium.
“The arrangements are being implemented to ensure all supporters can enjoy and view without hindrance the after-match celebrations. These could be curtailed if any fans go on to the pitch. The only time fans will be allowed to congregate on the pitch-side walkways, will be right at the end to take photographs when the players make a scheduled tour of the pitch.’’
It was a tradition at Saltergate that fans ran on to the pitch after the last game of the season but Blues bosses want sensible celebrations from supporters.
Should the Blues win the title, the trophy will be presented at the end with all the associated razzmatazz. Chesterfield stadium director Phillip Taylor said: “With the eyes of the football authorities and the media on us, the only image we want to portray is that of a friendly, successful football club whose fans can celebrate in a responsible manner.”
There should be a cracking atmosphere at the B2net as home followers have been allocated seats on all four sides of the ground and tickets for Spireites sold out on Tuesday.
l Three Blues youth team players offered contracts after side wins league title: page 86.
l Chesterfield FC’s Division Four championship party in 1984/85: page 87.