Pub owners in Chesterfield have had their say following reported trouble before Saturday’s football match between the Spireites and Grimsby Town.
A ‘significant’ operation was put in place by Derbyshire police with more than 2,700 supporters from Grimsby travelling for the season opener.
Spireites Police wrote on Twitter that The Red Lion, Derby Tup, Beer Parlour, Donkey Derby and S41 Bar would not be opening post-match due to ‘damage inside pre-match’.
The pubs did close after the game as a precautionary measure - but owners have said that no damage was caused.
Owner of The Derby Tup, Ade Cole, said: “We made the decision to close between 5pm and 6pm as the fans we’d had in prior to the game were in the most part good natured but there was an underlying sense that something could kick off, so to speak.
“We suffered no damage - quite a bit of glassware was deposited in neighbouring gardens - which we retrieved and apologised to the residents for. We are all happy that trouble was avoided.”
A spokesman for The Red Lion said: “We had about 300 plus fans here and not one bit of trouble. We did close at 3pm and reopened at 6pm. That was just purely for precautions as advised by the police. No damage was caused what so ever.”
General manager of the Donkey Derby, Jon Priddle, said: “We closed for approximately one hour after the game as we had heard rumours about other pubs in the area closing and that damage had been caused.
“I still don’t know what was truth and what was rumour. It was a recommendation from the police to close - not an enforcement. We decided based on the trouble we had seen to close for a short time until the football crowd had passed. Our main concern was safety of team and guests.”
He added: “There was a some trouble on Sheffield Road following the game which caused some problems for traffic. We didn’t have any trouble or damage in the Donkey Derby at all.”
Owner of the Beer Parlour, Steve Jackson, said: “I had no trouble and did not have anything damaged. I had about 40, 50 or 60 Grimsby fans. They were inside and outside. I played it by ear after the game. I thought if everyone else is shutting then I will do the same. It was my decision to close. I reopened at about 6.15pm and 6.30pm.”
The S41 Bar also confirmed no trouble had taken place and no damage caused.
A spokesman for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We were made aware via PubWatch radio and from our officers on the ground that several pubs in the town centre had decided to close for a period after the final whistle.
“We were informed by the premises themselves that this was due to nuisance and rowdy behaviour by small groups of fans within those premises before the match.
“A number of other venues that had not suffered any issues before the game decided to follow suit and also closed their doors for a short time after the final whistle.”