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Coaching skills pay off as Burton Albion settle bus dilemma

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

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BURTON Albion supporters who made the long journey to Saturday’s postponed game at Bournemouth on unofficial coaches WILL be included in a free travel offer for the return match from cash raised by generous opposition fans.

The club came under pressure from a section of its supporters after originally only opening up the deal to fans who made the trip on official coaches.

The decision meant supporters who travelled to the game on coaches run by the Burton Albion Independent Supporters’ Club would have had to pay again if they wanted to go to the rearranged game on Tuesday.

After the game was called off due to the extreme weather conditions at lunchtime on Saturday – when the coaches had already arrived in the seaside town – Bournemouth fans clubbed together to raise nearly £3,000 to pay for Albion fans to make the return trip for free.

But when the club said the offer would only be open to fans on official coaches, those who travelled by other means were left feeling aggrieved.

John Archer, from the independent supporters’ club, who organises travel to away games from the Beacon Hotel, in Tutbury Road, said he felt it ‘wasn’t the spirit the money was given in’.

Burton Albion explained that officials from Bournemouth had agreed the good-will gesture would be used to fund official coach travel only.

But now the club has decided to extend the offer and has begun discussions with those who travelled on supporters’ club coaches for the postponed Bournemouth tie.

It conceded that the offer was unlikely to be available for those who made their own way to the south coast via car or train.

A club spokesman said: “It was agreed by Bournemouth to refund official coaches that went down, but we’re looking to extend that to independent coaches as well.

“People, like those from the Beacon Hotel, are now being contacted individually.

“As for people going by car, we’re not sure what exactly is going to happen with them. You can’t please everyone in this situation.

“Obviously it was a good-will gesture from Bournemouth supporters, but it was only originally intended to be given to those on official coaches.”

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