Five arrests in Blackpool FC pitch invasion probe

Stewards guard the goal as Blackpool fans stage a protest and pitch invasion against the running of the club.

Stewards guard the goal as Blackpool fans stage a protest and pitch invasion against the running of the club.

  • Five people have been arrested following the pitch invasion that halted a football match between Blackpool and Huddersfield Town
  • Police have scoured CCTV from Bloomfield Road to identify a “small minority” who police say engaged in public order offences
  • The match, on May 2, was interrupted in the 48th minute and later called of amid fears for players’ safety
  • Police say the majority of the 150 fans who invaded the pitch behaved “responsibly and peacefully”
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Five people have today been arrested by police investigating a pitch invasion that forced Blackpool FC’s last game of the season to be abandoned.

The game against Huddersfied Town at Bloomfield Road on May 2 was interrupted in the 48th minute by a fans’ protest against the running of the club by Pool chairman Karl Oyston.

While the majority of supporters behaved responsibly and peacefully, our investigation is focused on the small number of people whose conduct overstepped the mark.

Det Insp Jason Richardson

Around 150 supporters invaded the pitch during a largely peaceful protest, which led to officials calling the match off.

However, police say a handful of those involved “overstepped the mark”.

Five men, aged 24 to 46, have today been arrested and police say they are waiting to speak to a further two suspects.

Det Insp Jason Richardson, of Blackpool Police, said: “Today’s arrests come as part of our on-going investigation into the events that occurred at the fixture back in May.

“I would like to once again reiterate our thanks to supporters from both teams for their restraint, support and cooperation on the day of the match which ensured that everyone was able to leave the ground safely.

“While the majority of supporters behaved responsibly and peacefully, our investigation is focused on the small number of people whose conduct overstepped the mark.

“There is no place for such conduct at any sporting fixtures and we are continuing with our enquiries to ensure that those who we believe behaved in an unacceptable manner are brought to account for their actions.”

The arrests follow extensive CCTV inquiries, which led to a police appeal to help identify two possible suspects.

Five men from Blackpool – aged 24, 31, 34, 40 and 46 – have been arrested on suspicion of affray.

Police say the investigation into the incident is on-going.

The Football League and Football Association are both currently investigating Pool over the pitch invasion, which halted the game after 48 minutes with the score at 0-0.

Both sides were awarded a point after it was decided a replay was not needed.

The protest was part of a string of demonstrations by fans angry at the way the club is being run.

It came at the end of a disappointing season that saw the Seasiders relegated to League 1.