Derby kick-off to remain at 5:30pm

Merseyside Police have withdrew their legal challenge to bring forward the Merseyside Derby kick-off time after an out-of-court compromise was reached.

They mounted an appeal bid after Liverpool council’s licensing committee last week turned down a request to amend the terms of the ground safety certificate to bring forward the 5.30pm kick-off time to lunchtime.

They said there was an increased risk of drunken disorder, with fans spending more time drinking before the televised match starts on Saturday.

Police chiefs said that would cause unnecessary risk, which would require increased policing, funded by the taxpayer.

But a compromise between police, the council and Everton FC, was reached today at South Sefton magistrates’ court without the need for a judge’s ruling.

As revealed by the ECHO earlier today, Everton confirmed to the Premier League it could host the Merseyside derby at its scheduled kick-off time of 5.30pm on Saturday.

There will be double the number of police support units that are normally at the ground, paid for by Everton.

The club will have 430 club stewards together with 50 agency stewards, who will be focussed on higher risk areas.

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