East Midlands Airport boycott threat over Derby County advert

We Are Derby poster at East Midlands Airport Image copyright Nick Webster
Image caption The Derby County banner was in the immigration hall at East Midlands Airport

A number of Derby County fans have threatened to boycott East Midlands Airport (EMA) unless it puts back a banner paid for by the club.

The poster, which was in the immigration hall, said: "We are Derby. Welcome to the East Midlands."

It was removed after Leicester City and Nottingham Forest fans accused the airport of favouring the Rams.

EMA said it had received no direct complaints and the poster was taken down after being put up "in error".

However, a petition, with about 400 names, claims Derby supporters are being "discriminated" against.

Derby County FC said it did not want to make a comment about the petition but was investigating why the banner was taken down.

Image caption All three counties practically converge at East Midlands Airport

Paul Topliff, who started the petition, urged Derby supporters to use alternative airports due to EMA's "clear bias" in favour of Nottingham.

He said the issue went back to when the airport briefly incorporated Nottingham into its name.

"[Forest fans] didn't object when [the airport] was going to be named Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

"We feel Derby is being done a disservice.

"I don't think its a question of being upset, it's a question of asking for equality and the right thing to be done."

Forest fan Phil Ringrose was one of those upset over the banner and said the airport should represent all three cities in the region.

East Midlands Airport has yet to comment on the petition but said it supported all the counties and "prides" itself on being at the heart of the region.

A statement said: "With regards to the recent advert in the immigration hall, it was installed in error and has now been removed."

The airport is located at Castle Donington in Leicestershire but has a Derbyshire postcode and is about 14 miles (22.5km) from Nottingham.

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