THE historic FA Cup showdown between Fleetwood Town and Blackpool is set to be shown live on TV screens at Bloomfield Road.
Only 800 Seasiders fans will be lucky enough to get tickets for the clash at Highbury on Saturday, January 7, the first major meeting between the Fylde coast clubs since 1980.
With no live television coverage – unless broadcasters have a late rethink – thousands of Seasiders supporters will miss the big game.
But Blackpool FC secretary Matt Williams told The Gazette that plans were afoot to ensure the FA Cup third round clash would be screened.
“We are discussing the possibility of having a beam-back to Bloomfield Road,” he said.
“We hope it can be arranged but it is in the hands of the FA and their broadcast partners.
“There is already so much interest in the game that we probably could have sold Bloomfield Road and Highbury out four times over.
“So if we can get the match screened at Bloomfield Road that will at least allow some of our supporters who may otherwise have missed the game to see it.
“This match is a massive thing for the area, the biggest game in three decades locally, and we would like as many people on the Fylde coast as possible to be able to see it.”
Capacity at Highbury is 5,663. FA Cup rules stipulate that visiting teams only have the right to claim up to 15 per cent of the tickets. Pool have been allocated 800 tickets – slightly more than 15 per cent – and will be housed in the Percy Ronson Stand, which is standing. Tickets prices will be £19.50 adults and £12 concessions.
“We are holding discussions with the Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley and the chief executive Steve Curwood today about when tickets will go on sale,” added Williams.
“We’ve also got meetings scheduled with the police and the local authorities. We will give Fleetwood as much support as possible and both clubs want to make it a memorable day for the Fylde, no matter what the result.”
It will be a reunion for managers Ian Holloway and Micky Mellon, who first met in the early 1990s when they played together in Bristol.
Mellon went on to enjoy three seasons at Blackpool and knows Bloomfield Road well.
He is in his fourth season in charge at Fleetwood and has led them from Conference North to joint-top of the Blue Square Premier, vying for promotion to the Football League for the first time in the club’s history.
“Fleetwood have made massive improvements in the last few years and you can’t fault the job they have done,” added Williams.
“They have put Fleetwood Town on the map and we certainly have a difficult game on our hands.”
In the event of a replay, it will take place on Tuesday January 17 at Bloomfield Road with an 8pm kick off.
The clubs last met in the FA Cup in November 1980, Blackpool winning the first round tie 4-0.