Linfield fans will watch title decider in Cliftonville end

Cliftonville and Linfield meet at Solitude on Saturday
Cliftonville and Linfield meet at Solitude on Saturday

Linfield fans hoping to see their team win the Irish Premiership will be sitting with rival Cliftonville supporters during Saturday’s title decider.

The Blues have been allocated the 800-capacity away end at Solitude with the last remaining tickets selling out on Monday morning after fans queued at Windsor Park from 7am.

A win will ensure Linfield’s 52nd league title and a draw is also likely to be good enough after the weekend’s results saw them leapfrog title favourites Crusaders.

Some Linfield fans, desperate to see their side lift the title, have bought tickets for the home end where they will be seated amongst Cliftonville fans.

One of those fans is Steve Caldwell, who along with three of his friends will be watching the Blues from the Reds’ end of the ground.

He said: “We’ll not be in our colours. We’ll be respectful. It’s just a pity that we’ll not be able to get properly involved in the game, but at least we’ll be there.”

He said his friend bought the tickets via the Cliftonville website adding: “It’s the sort of game that every Blueman wants to be at.”

Linfield chairman Roy McGivern said a security meeting is due to take place between Linfield, Cliftonville and the PSNI today.

He forecast that it was unlikely that Linfield’s allocation would change or that temporary seats could be put in place.

Mr McGivern said: “I fully understand why fans want to be at the game. It’s a massive game for the club.”

He added it would not be the first time Linfield fans have gone to the Cliftonville end because of limited capacity at the away section.

Mr McGivern said it was his experience that Linfield fans have sat with home supporters “without any difficulty”.

Linfield have around 2,500 members and season ticket holders, and it is estimated around 2,000 travelled to Coleraine on Saturday.

All Linfield fans who have bought tickets through the club for Solitude will be escorted from Ballysillan Leisure Centre in 16 buses.

The News Letter was unable to reach Cliftonville FC to discuss segregation issues ahead of Saturday’s game.

The PSNI were asked how they planned to police the game in light of some parts of the grounds being potentially mixed. A spokesperson said the PSNI could not comment on operational matters.