A top Tayside police officer has said plans are already being prepared to prevent any violence at Dundee United’s Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Rangers next month.
Bad blood between the two clubs has grown over the years, partly due to United’s stance on Rangers playing in the bottom tier after the Ibrox side went into liquidation.
And after venue and ticket arguments over the upcoming match, Arab Trust chairman Steven Hughes has admitted some fans are “nervous from a safety perspective” about travelling through for the game on April 12.
Chief Superintendent Eddie Smith, the commander for Tayside Division, said his staff were in contact with colleagues in the west to make plans to prevent any violence.
He said “We are already in dialogue with the Greater Glasgow Division and we will assist them in any way we can. Our primary role is to get everyone in safely and then get them home to their families safely.
“If we have achieved that, then we’ve achieved our primary goal, which is keeping people safe.
“We always prepare for the potential of violence and we’ll use our intelligence nearer the time to get a picture as to how exactly we structure the plan.
“There’s a good quote from the Hillsborough Inquiry that says ‘complacency is the enemy of safety’ and that’s a mantra I will always adhere to, no matter how big or small the event is.”
Tangerines’ chairman Stephen Thompson has also caused controversy by going to war with the Scottish Football Association after trying to get the game switched to Celtic Park.
Another fallout followed when the SFA claimed United declined their original seating allocation for the Ibrox game and asked for less seats. Mr Thompson initially rejected the claim, although he soon backed down from his statement.
However, Mr Smith, who was the match commander at the last Old Firm game in 2012, said their early planning had nothing to do with comments from the United chairman.
He said: “This is just a normal response.
“That’s how we plan for high profile football matches.
“We will be performing our usual duties, which are working with the football clubs to make sure the venue is secure and we have tried and tested plans to make sure buses are stopped and searched for alcohol.”