POLICE and football clubs are being urged to talk through their differences over Tyne-Wear derbv kick-offs.
Premier League rivals Sunderland and Newcastle have publicly argued with Northumbria Police over the staging of the matches.
The row erupted after fans of both clubs jointly plans to make the next encounter, at St James’ Park on the lunchtime of Saturday February 1, a “bubble match’’ in which the sale of tickets to away fans was conditional on them travelling on Sunderland’s official coaches.
Sunderland withdrew the condition and both clubs rejected Northumbria Police’s assertion that it did not direct kick-odd times, saying they wanted later starts to the games.
Now the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is urging both sides to talk.
She said: “The safety of fans, residents and visitors to the city is paramount and Northumbria Police have a duty to ensure public safety at all times.
“That is why the police welcomed the proposal by Sunderland AFC to provide a safe way of travelling to Newcastle by using coaches provided by the club. “