DCSIMG

No charges in tickets probe

Blackpool fans at the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley against West Ham and (below) Blackpool supporters spokesperson Fiona Martin.

Blackpool fans at the Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley against West Ham and (below) Blackpool supporters spokesperson Fiona Martin.

  • by David Sharman
 

A SEASIDERS fans group says it is “pleased” with the outcome of an investigation into ticketing at May’s play-off final against West Ham United.

Some Blackpool FC fans reported they had been hit by missiles thrown by rival fans after some Hammers supporters obtained tickets in the Pool end at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Lancashire Police says no charges will be brought against anyone who sold tickets in the Pool end to opposition fans after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided there was insufficient evidence.

But Blackpool Supporters Association vice chairperson, Fiona Martin, said the fact there has been action proved how serious the issue was.

She added: “We are pleased the matter was taken seriously enough for the police and the authorities to investigate and we accept it would be always difficult for people to be prosecuted.

“Hopefully all those involved can learn from their mistakes and incidents which were witnessed on that day can be avoided in future.”

But Anne Furness, 58, from Staining, who was in the stadium with her eight-year-old grandson Owen Dawson, added: “It’s absolutely disgusting that they can just turn round and say nothing’s going to be done about it.

“To be honest I knew this would happen and nothing would come from it.”

Chief Insp Gary Dunnagan, from Blackpool Police, said they had spoken to relevant parties to try to ensure there was no repeat.

He added: “We empathise deeply with a lot of Blackpool fans who were victims that day as they had their day spoilt because of the infiltration of West Ham United supporters.

“During our investigation we did make a number of observations which we have shared with all organisations involved, with a view to ensuring a situation like this does not occur again.”

A statement by the Football League said: “While it is regrettable anyone should have their day at Wembley spoiled in this way, it is envisaged that the additional steps being introduced will reduce the likelihood of this type of incident happening again.”

A spokesman for Blackpool FC said they reiterated the statement made by the Football League, while West Ham United did not wish to comment.

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