• Europa League

Newcastle fans warned over Bordeaux trip

ESPN staff
November 30, 2012
French police have warned Newcastle supporters ahead of the visit to Bordeaux © PA Photos

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French Police have warned Newcastle fans that they will monitor them closely ahead of their visit to Bordeaux next week.

The club's supporters have already endured issues with police during their Europa League travels - complaining of a heavy-handed approach from officers in Bruges, where five away fans were arrested.

A spokesman for Bordeaux's police has asked that travelling supporters "gather at the Place de la Victoire in the city centre" two hours before kick-off.

It is from there they will begin the 30-minute walk to the Stade Chaban-Delmas under police escort. Alternatively, fans will be shepherded into local taxis or the city's Line B tram. Once at the ground every supporter will be searched before being allowed in.

With alcohol one of a number of items banned which include bags, banners and flags displaying "abusive" messages, fireworks, knives, belts and chains - anyone who appears drunk may also be turned away at the gates.

The news comes after their trip to Bruges in early November left angry Newcastle fans contacting their Euro MP for help.

Newcastle fan Chris Smith, who runs supporter blog Leazes Terrace and travelled to the game in early November described the Belgian Police presence as "over the top".

Smith, 27, from Chapel Park said: "The police presence was definitely over-zealous around the stadium - they were expecting the kind of disturbance which was never going to come.

"Tickets were checked at four separate points on the way into the ground, and I was searched twice. Then after the game the escort to the Old Centre took us on a 2.5 mile walk with horses and riot police.

"It was all completely unnecessary for the mood and mentality of the fans."

Alan Pardew's side have already qualified from Group D, but will be keen to redress some poor form in the competition of late after they struggled to draws against both Club Brugge and Maritimo of Portugal.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.