Rotherham United: Millers say lessons learned

Paul Douglas, Rotherham United Chief Operating Officer
Paul Douglas, Rotherham United Chief Operating Officer
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Rotherham United say they have “learned lessons” about arrangements for supporters leaving the New York Stadium and will make improvements for next season.

Paul Douglas, the club’s Chief Operating Officer, said they were aware of a couple of incidents involving home fans and away fans as both were leaving the stadium at the same time.

The issue was brought to the club’s attention at the Millers Trust forum with particular complaints about incidents after the games with Chesterfield and Port Vale with an allegation that some fans were assaulted and the exit area near the away part of the ground had become a ‘flashpoint’.

“Although we hoped we would get everything right, there are often things that crop up and we learned lessons from those, particularly the Chesterfield one,” said Douglas.

“We have been holding discussions about a supporter-traffic plan for the bigger games and the best way forward may be to use the South car park for away supporters. It’s something in our planning.

“Certainly our aim is to have a different plan in place over exit from the stadium next season.

“We will have a number of big crowds next season and several big away followings and we want to ensure things run smoothly.

“It perhaps inevitable that, in a new stadium, we haven’t got everything right straightaway but we are addressing things.”

He said the average attendance last season of just under 8,000 was excellent.

“We were all confident there would be an increase in support and it was more than most people expected,” he said. “It’s reasonable to expect it will be even higher in League One.

On the temporary removable fencing which still blocks off one of the exit routes from the New York Stadium, and which one fan said didn’t fit in with the look of a new stadium, Douglas said they were having talks which also entailed discussions about the Trans Pennine Trail.

He said that the club wanted that area tidied up and (properly) gated off adding... “hopefully that will not be much further away.”

The deadline for current season ticket holders to reclaim their seat is tomorrow with the office open between 10am and 2pm although the renewal price discount deadline is June 29.

Season tickets will go on general sale on Monday with the club expecting to improve even on last season’s big increase.

The new fixtures are released on Wed, June 19. The Carling Cup draw is on June 17.