Blackburn vs Burnley: Time To Burst The Bubble?


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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13 Responses

  1. Garreth says:

    The FSF agree with you on this, as we commented last week:

  2. Wurzel says:

    The trouble with bubbles is , a some point, they always burst. And the bigger the bubble, the bigger the pop.

  3. Gervillian Swike says:

    There’s a lot of truth in what you say, and the point about caging people in makes them behave like animals was one used for many years about having perimeter fencing at crappy stadiums, until Hillsborough showed it up for being the farce it was – or maybe not. Maybe without Hillsborough, people wouldn’t have the respect for the field of play that they generally have now (and certainly didn’t have in the 1970’s).

    Ordinarily, I’d be sitting here in Swansea waiting to welcome our neighbours from up the M4 in a few weeks, but this time it’s home tickets only. It doesn’t matter – in 2006, we played at the Millennium Stadium twice in two months, they weren’t bubbled, we had the run of Cardiff, and I don’t believe there was any trouble at all. But that was probably down to excellent policing and stewarding – that sort of resource required generally won’t be stretched to for every league game, and the bubble seems to be the best alternative.

  4. Albert Ross says:

    The “Purchase History” point is well made – how much history? I received a number of things from Blackburn for 2-3 years about matches and support (and for all I know, they may still arrive at my old address.) The purchase history in this case was some tickets for the England-Greece U21s game at Ewood back in 2001! All it might take is to know someone that’s had some corporate hospitality at Ewood Park, and they have a path in….

    The whole point about derby games is that they’re between teams that are close together, supporters therefore live cheek by jowl, trying to police this by the bubble is a bit like trying to stop a leak with a sieve.

  5. SWCSC says:

    Fully agree. The police tactics for this game are way over the top and is likely to stir up more problems. We will be publishing our thoughts later this week at

    I’m also aware of a good number of Burnley fans that have got their hands on tickets in the home ends. For a game of such local importance and rivalry, I don’t see how these fans will be able to keep their emotions under control and I fear trouble will flare up in the stands and it will more than likely not involve hooligans, but your average football fans that are passionate about their club that have had their choices taken away from them.

  6. Peter says:

    I am a Burnley fan who lives in the Blackburn area. My son once went to watch Blackburn v Man Utd with a school friend and we recieve literature from them on a monthly basis and I could of easily bought a number of tickets for the Derby match.
    I gave my ticket numbers to some friends to purchase tickets for this match as I will not be treated like a common thug.
    The other week I watched Man Utd fans and Man City fans walking to the ground together having a laugh and some good old fashioned banter. There were 78000 at this match not a poxy 30000 and the Police did their jobs and kept trouble to a minimum!
    This whole situation basically shows what East Lancashire has turned into a Lazy easy option Police state.

  7. Jamie says:

    I dont think you understand the nature of this game. Blackburn and Burnley have not played each other for nearly 30 years in top flight football. The town’s have a history, which in simple terms is pure hatred!! The police are doing the right thing, the chances of trouble are huge as no doubt there will be some mindless thugs there looking for trouble. Comparing the Manchester derby is no comparision!!

    No-one would be walking in laughing together. I work near Burnley and live near Blackburn, the banter certailnly isn’t friendly!!!

    There is no other Derby like this. You should keep your mindless opinions to your self, the only point you make is the ticket situation but thats the clubs issue!! Burnley fans should be treated like thugs because most of you are, blame your fellow burnley fans for the way you are treated.

    Hopefully Rovers will win easliy!!!!

  8. Martin says:

    It just goes to show that you can’t be too careful.

  9. Connal says:

    This ‘Bubble’ match system has been in place for a number of years now. I read on websites and national newspapers that Burnley fans are being put out by having to travel all the way to their stadium to get a coach, and this is due to the trouble between West Ham and Millwall. This is simply not true. For both ties in the F.A cup some 5 years ago, this same system happened, and I also think for the game in 2000.
    When Burnley fans couldn’t get to the Rovers fans after losing at home in 1999, they decided to riot in their own town. This policing is necessary because trouble will otherwise flare up. It sad, but its not a new thing to have to be herded in like this, and people walking in side by side would simply not happen. Make no mistake, this is one of the biggest derbies around – just ask anyone involved.

  10. Jack says:

    i seem to remeber the ‘bubble match’ system being used when we played burnley in the cup a few years ago

  11. Billy King says:

    Not like the Lancashire Polis to over react to a situation…….

  1. October 19, 2009

    […] an interesting piece on the big Lancashire derby taking place this weekend over at It’s the first time that Blackburn and Burnley have played each other in a long time – […]

  2. December 21, 2011

    […] compliance. It is a tactic that police forces around the UK have used – fans from Bristol City, Burnley, Cardiff City, and Wolves have all been on the receiving end in recent […]

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