Statement from Northumbria Police

The below statement is from Northumbria Police...

Clarification regarding the transportation of Sunderland AFC fans to St James' Park on February 1:

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Farrell said: "As we have said previously Northumbria Police cannot direct changes to kick off times or control the issue of tickets and how supporters travel to matches.

"The condition of ticketing and transportation to St James' Park is a contractual issue between the club and supporters and is not something Northumbria Police is involved in.

"We cannot and will not direct supporters on how they travel to the game.

"That said, the transportation issue has been discussed between both clubs and the police. Based on those discussions Sunderland Football Club took this decision which is aimed at ensuring the safety of their supporters, and it is a decision which we welcome."