Football League refuses AFC Bournemouth trophy request

The Football League has confirmed if Bournemouth are crowned champions on Saturday they will not be allowed to lift the trophy at Tranmere Rovers.

The Cherries top League One and victory at Prenton Park will seal the title.

But the Football League say after talks with Tranmere and Merseyside Police, Bournemouth's request has been refused.

"Tranmere felt they were not able to guarantee the safety of all players, officials and supporters on the day," said a Football League statement. 

It is disappointing, especially when you wait so long to achieve something like this. But we don't make the rules

AFC Bournemouth chairman Eddie Mitchell

Bournemouth sealed promotion last Saturday and chairman Eddie Mitchell had asked for a U-turn on the decision not to allow them to lift the trophy if they won it.

The Cherries last won promotion to the second tier of English football in 1987.

More than 2,000 Bournemouth supporters are expected to make the trip north and Mitchell said: "If we do win it, then we want to celebrate on the day. There is nothing better than celebrating at the time when you achieve victory.

"As far as I am aware they have not given us a reason. To celebrate on the day is what I thought it was all about.

"If we are unable to, I would ask the fans to be patient and celebrate on the Sunday.

"It is disappointing, especially when you wait so long to achieve something like this. But we don't make the rules."

And Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe added to BBC South Today: "If we were lucky enough to win the division then we would have loved to have celebrated with our fans on the pitch"

The Football League says Bournemouth's fans will instead have to wait for a special presentation at the club's Goldsands Stadium on Sunday, despite a "specific request" from the club.

Steve Roper, head of the Tranmere Former Players' Foundation, told BBC North West Sport: "Other clubs will look at us and we'll be a laughing stock.

"They [Bournemouth fans] are there to celebrate, the team will be celebrating after the game so why can't they be given the trophy?

"It's what the fans have paid to see and, to be honest, if I was at an away ground and my team were crowned champions I would expect to see the trophy - that's what I would be paying for."

The club are also planning an open-top bus parade on Sunday  to celebrate promotion.