The operator of Hull City’s KCOM Stadium has “wholeheartedly apologised” to fans following Saturday’s ticketing fiasco that saw a large number of Leeds United supporters relocated from the home stands into the away end of the ground.

Hull released a statement prior to the game stating that if any Leeds fans were found in home sections they would be ejected. Instead, stewards escorted a large number to an overspill section alongside the sold-out away end.

Several scuffles broke out during the move along the perimeter of the pitch, leading to the Hull City Supporters Trust criticising the club for walking the Leeds fans in front of home areas and potentially creating safety concerns.

The Stadium Management Company (SMC), which operates the KCOM Stadium, responded in a statement: “It is extremely difficult to identify all of these supporters in advance, with some opposition fans having local postcodes.

“A risk-based decision was taken on the day to relocate, rather than eject, visiting supporters from home areas in the interest of spectator and staff safety.

“This decision was made given the high number of Leeds fans identified in home areas of the stadium.”

The game attracted 16,178 fans on Saturday, the second highest of Hull’s league season, with Leeds having a 4,000 ticket allocation.

Last season, Hull faced similar issues when attempting to relocate Sheffield United fans at KCOM Stadium.

The SMC added following Saturday’s game: “We wholeheartedly apologise to those fans whose matchday experience was adversely affected.

“Discussions have taken place with the relevant parties and we are looking at tightening our ticketing and stewarding procedures to mitigate the risk of this happening in the future.

“We are considering different options, such as increasing the away allocation and/or removing general admission and selling to existing supporters on our database.”

Image: dom fellowes