Blackpool FC is today demanding answers from its own fans after scenes of violence broke out inside Bloomfield Road during the Seasiders’ clash with Leeds.
The 1-1 draw between the clubs on Saturday was marred by ugly clashes which left one fan badly bloodied and saw stewards sprinting to break up the disorder. Now the club has written to up to 90 supporters demanding to know how dozens of Leeds fans ended up in the home sections of the ground.
The move comes after tickets confiscated from Leeds fans were traced back to Blackpool season ticket holders.
The club has confirmed letters have been sent out demanding explanations as to how those tickets ended up in the hands of opposition supporters. The Gazette understands up to 90 supporters have been contacted. And those fans may be facing bans from the ground if they cannot provide an adequate explanation.
Suppporters of the two clubs clashed in the North Stand during the second half, an area designated for home supporters only, while hundreds had to be moved to the correct area after being identified by police.
Club rules insist season ticket cards say that the named person must be the sole user.
And while Blackpool FC officials refused to confirm this could lead to a long-term ban, a spokesperson said it’s something they were taking very seriously.
“The club has since launched an investigation and will be writing to those supporters on our ticketing system who purchased tickets, or a season ticket, found in possession of Leeds United fans,” the club said.
“Home tickets for the match against Leeds United were only on sale to Blackpool supporters with a previous purchase history.
“The club was concerned to note that several Leeds United fans managed to infiltrate the home ends by being in possession of season ticket swipe cards and tickets purchased by supporters listed on our database.”
A total of 22 Leeds fans were ejected from the stadium for being in the wrong areas while a further 90 were relocated to the away section of the ground.
Lancashire Police told The Gazette there were no arrests during or after Saturday’s game, although they confirmed an investigation into trouble is underway.
Temporary Chief Inspector, Keith Ogle, said: “Violence in and around football grounds will not be tolerated, it spoils the game for the vast majority of supporters.
“We are in the process of carrying out a post match investigation in conjunction with the football club.
“We will be dealing with people that have been identified.”
Police presence inside and around Bloomfield Road on Saturday was huge as the visit of Leeds was added to by pre-match protests about the Oyston family.
They confirmed 30 officers were stationed in and around the ground on the day, and despite trouble no-one was seriously injured.
Ogle added: “Despite the fact no-one was seriously injured this is still not acceptable.
“We will not accept this and neither will Blackpool Football Club.”