Ticket row riposte

Blackpool FC fans at Wembley Stadium.
Blackpool FC fans at Wembley Stadium.
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KARL Oyston believes West Ham showed “a lack of judgment and grace” to make a fuss over the Wembley ticket sales.

Pool sold just under 30,000 tickets for the play-off final on Saturday – 8,000 short of their allocation.

West Ham, meanwhile, sold their full 38,000 and – with many Hammers fans still wanting to snap up tickets – made several complaints about not being allowed to use the Seasiders’ spare tickets.

The nature of those complaints – including comments made by West Ham’s co-chairman David Gold – were deemed by many at Pool to be disrespectful and patronising.

And it seems Oyston wasn’t too pleased either.

“The support from our fans was unbelievable at Wembley, and I thank every one of them for making the effort to be there,” said the chairman.

“There was a bit made of the ticket situation by West Ham, which was disappointing.

“If they think that in the present economic climate, a skip across London by tube can compare with a round trip costing a lot of money – and tickets costing a lot of money – for people who, in some cases, would probably struggle to afford it, then I think it is disingenuous of them at best.

“It lacks a bit of judgment and grace.

“I don’t want to start some war of words with West Ham, because it sounds like sour grapes and it isn’t.

“But I think it is ill-advised to make that sort of comment when we had such wonderful support, and when things are so difficult economically – particularly in our part of the world.

“It is not much of an achievement to get a tube across London as it is to get a train or a bus and bring your family back to Blackpool.”

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Ian Holloway has also spoken out in praise of the Seasiders fans, who he said gave his team all the support he could have wished for during the final.

The manager was just upset he couldn’t give them what they most wanted – Premier League football.

“They looked brilliant on Saturday. They always do,” he said. “That tangerine colour is absolutely fantastic when it is worn by thousands.

“All I could see at our end was this brilliant sea of tangerine and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

“Just as they’ve done all season, they backed us from first whistle to last and we were so close to giving them what they wanted.

“I wish we could have done. I wanted nothing else than to give them another season in the Premier League but unfortunately it just wasn’t to be.

“But I am so proud of what the lads did.

“Half the world thought West Ham had already done it before a ball had even been kicked.

“Well I certainly don’t think they would have thought that halfway through the second half.

“We will have to pick ourselves up and go again. But first I need a break. I’m shattered.”

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