Belfast Telegraph

No change to derby kick-off time

The derby clash between Everton and Liverpool next month will kick-off at 1730 as scheduled despite opposition from Merseyside Police and the local council, the Premier League has confirmed.

The fixture on Saturday, February 7 at Goodison Park was moved to a tea-time start in order to be televised by Sky Sports - leading to objections from the police, who decided to elevate the game to a Category C fixture, with reference to there being a high risk of disorder.

The police, supported by Liverpool City Council's Licensing Committee, wanted the match to kick-off no later than 1330.

Everton informed the Premier League on December 9 of the police's objections and the issue was then discussed by the council's licensing committee, which initially said it would ''take legal advice on all appropriate options to enforce the position'' in the event of no change of kick-off time being determined.

However, only if there are concerns over a safety certificate being issued could a change be viable, and that was not a consideration as Everton have confirmed they are in a position to stage the game.

And the Premier League confirmed to Press Association Sport on Monday that the derby will go ahead at the 1730 start.

Merseyside Police's report last month stressed there was no specific intelligence indicating any organised disorder is planned but stated the wider implications of a late kick-off meant they had to take action.

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