Date: 2nd May 2017 at 4:24pm
Written by:

Blackpool’s final game of the regulation League 2 season looks as if it’ll be one with few Pools fans in attendance and little following from Leyton Orient as well, perhaps none at all?

A request to the English Football League (EFL) to ‘suspend ticket sales’ to Leyton Orient fans was put forward by Blackpool on Monday, citing safety and security concerns following the Orient protest against Colchester on Saturday.

Protests at Brisbane Road caused a delay in the final six minutes of Leyton Orient’s defeat from the visit of Colchester, the game was eventually played to a conclusion behind closed doors after an hour delay.

An EFL statement, quoted by Sky Sports, has backed the Blackpool request.

This read: ‘The EFL has today supported a request from Blackpool FC to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans for Saturday’s final game of the Sky Bet League Two season. The decision was taken following a number of concerns raised by Blackpool. The rationale for supporting this request is to allow sufficient time for a full review of the match day safety and security arrangements (and any options within these) against the certainty of knowing the specific number of tickets sold to date and in which areas of Bloomfield Road. The EFL’s objective will always be to ensure that fans of both Clubs are able to watch the match live, but in seeking to achieve this, we are required to consider all the contributing factors, to ensure that the safety of everyone at the game is not put at risk.’

With a suspended charge hanging over Blackpool, relating to the 2015 invasion against Huddersfield, it was decided Pools’ request was not ‘without foundation.’

‘Blackpool’s concerns are not without foundation based on both the events that took place at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Saturday evening and the fact that Blackpool themselves remain subject to a suspended charge following the failure to fulfil their Sky Bet Championship fixture against Huddersfield Town at Bloomfield Road on May 2, 2015. The EFL Executive will consider all the matters on Tuesday and ensure that all the relevant parties are given the opportunity to contribute, including Leyton Orient and LOFT (Leyton Orient Fans Trust).’

Both Blackpool and Leyton Orient fans had protested together against the respective clubs’ owners in the reverse fixture earlier in the season so it is likely more of the same would be seen ahead of the meeting at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.

A review, along with a final decision, to this is expected this evening.

Join The Vital Debate