Fans to boycott team in non-league protest

Fans protesting outside Bloomfield Road earlier this year

Fans protesting outside Bloomfield Road earlier this year

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Hundreds of Blackpool FC fans are set to boycott the Tangerines’ next home game and throw their support behind a Fylde non-league club.

Supporters’ group Tangerine Knights has organised a protest outside the West Stand ahead of this Saturday’s match against Leeds United.

Fans then plan to travel to AFC Blackpool’s ground in Marton to watch the non-league club’s game against Bootle.

The match is in the North West Counties Premier Division – six levels below Blackpool.

The Seasiders have suffered a disastrous season, with fans angry at a lack of investment by owner Owen Oyston and chairman Karl Oyston.

Steve Smith, of the Tangerine Knights (pictured) said: “Enough is enough, Tuesday’s loss at home to Charlton 
Athletic showed just how many Blackpool fans are now boycotting Bloomfield Road.

“We need to show the Oyston family the fans will no longer put up with them as custodians of our once proud club.

“We will not stop until they leave Bloomfield Road. And we call upon them again to put the club up for sale.”

Fans hope supporters from Leeds United will join Saturday’s protest after the club’s president, Massimo Cellino, was disqualified from owning the club by the Football League until April after being found guilty of tax evasion by an Italian court.

Mr Smith said the decision was made by the Football League board – including board member Karl Oyston.

Tickets for Saturday’s AFC Blackpool match have been sold at pubs across the resort with a further 500 available at the ground according to Tangerine Knights.

Billy Singleton, AFC Blackpool’s secretary, said he expected “a few hundred” extra fans for Saturday’s game and hoped it would provide a big financial boost.

He added: “Several months ago various groups of Blackpool supporters’ clubs decided to boycott a match but did not say which one it would be.

“It was just talk – but now it looks set to happen this weekend.

“Whether they will turn up I do not know. I have been assured some people are coming. We have extra food and refreshments. It could be a couple of hundred people. It will be nice to see them and boost the coffers.”