It's 6.45am on a Sunday morning but is really 5.45am as British Summer Time officially began a few hours ago. One look out of the window confirms that sunny skies and warm days are still a long way off. However, this is not a morning to continue the hibernation. It's Derby Day! And the operation to transport 2,500 Rovers fans to Turf Moor is about to be begin.
For those outside the region, and particularly reading this in foreign climbs, it may seem a bit excessive to order supporters to take organised transport 3 hours before kick off to a ground which is less than 10 miles away. We are then going to be escorted into the stadium 2 and a half hours before kickoff and probably will be asked to wait around for a similar time after the match. There could very well be the scenario of a Rovers fan living in the outskirts of Burnley who has to drive to Ewood, to pick the coach up to take him back to Burnley. He will then return back to Ewood to pick his car up to take him home to Burnley. Did you follow that?
Is it necessary? If it limits the chances of disorder then yes it is acceptable. If it just another attempt to erode the liberties of fans then questions have to be asked. The fact is, this morning feels different. It reminds me of setting off early for cups finals or play off finals. There is an air of expectation and excitement which is a rare commodity in the modern world of football. I am desparate for a Rovers win and the bragging rights that will go with it. But I have been consistant in my view that I want Burnley to stay up in order to experience more of these mornings.
It is going to be a time for strong hearts and minds in the high noon shootout.
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