Football League to investigate alleged assault after a game between AFC Blackpool and Longridge Town FC

Left, Longridge FC chairman Kevin Harrison, right, Blackpool manager'Martin Baird
Left, Longridge FC chairman Kevin Harrison, right, Blackpool manager'Martin Baird
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FA chiefs will be asked to investigate an alleged assault involving club officials after a game between two rival Lancashire sides.

A report of the incident following the 1-1 draw between AFC Blackpool and Longridge Town at the weekend is expected to be lodged with the sport’s ruling body in the next few days.

The Post understands the alleged row was over a parody Twitter account poking fun at senior Longridge FC officials.

The Hallmark Security Football League, in which both sides play, confirmed they have already launched a separate investigation into the alleged fracas.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of an alleged incident and are working with both clubs in establishing the facts before deciding on what course of action to take.”

Blackpool claim their assistant manager Mark Williams was assaulted by Longridge’s chairman, Kevin Harrison, after the teams had left the field.

Mr Harrison denies the claim and the allegation was met with a swift denial from the away club, with an official threatening possible legal action over the claims.

The flare-up is said to have happened in the dressing room area at AFC Blackpool’s Jepson Road ground following the North West Counties First Division clash on Saturday.

The home side’s manager, Martin Baird, issued a strongly-worded statement on the club’s website and on social media condemning the alleged assault.

It said: “As a community football club, we at AFC Blackpool will not tolerate any form of violence or unsporting behaviour.”

The statement went on say: “It is hugely disappointing to see the chairman of Longridge Town F.C, Kevin Harrison, physically assaulting our assistant manager in an unprovoked attack, especially with Longridge Town F.C promoting themselves as a community football club.

“Behaviour like this, at any level of football, should not and will not be tolerated. We hope that this disgusting behaviour from Longridge Town FC does not happen (again),”

Responding to the statement, a spokesman for Longridge said the club “categorically denied” that Mr Harrison had been involved in any altercation following the game.

And in a tweet AFC Blackpool were warned: “Please be careful what is tweeted as legal proceedings may ensue.”

The game, which saw a Blackpool player sent off, ended all square with league leaders Longridge seeing their lead at the top of the table cut to six points.

But the Post understands the alleged altercation later was not as a result of anything that happened on the pitch.

One Blackpool official suggested posts on social media from a spoof Twitter account may have been at the heart of the incident, with assistant boss Mark Williams a “victim of mistaken identity.”

Manager Baird said: “I don’t want to say too much because this has got to go to the FA. I don’t want to land myself in bother.”

The seaside club’s secretary Billy Singleton commented: “I didn’t see the incident, I’ve only heard about it, so I can’t say for sure what we intend to do about it.

“But we will be having a meeting in the next few days to decide our next move.”

A spokesman for the Lancashire FA’s disciplinary department said no complaint had yet been lodged.

“That’s not to say we won’t be getting a complaint,” he said. “If it was as serious as it sounds then I’m sure we will be receiving something.”

Lancashire Police could find no record of the incident being reported to them.

Attempts have been made by the Post to contact officials of Longridge Town FC.

AFC Blackpool statement:

“As a community football club, we at AFC Blackpool will not tolerate any form of violence or unsporting behaviour.

“It is hugely disappointing to see the chairman of Longridge Town F.C, Kevin Harrison, physically assaulting our assistant manager in an unprovoked attack, especially with Longridge Town F.C promoting themselves as a community football club.

“Behaviour like this, at any level of football, should not and will not be tolerated. We hope that this disgusting behaviour from Longridge Town FC does not happen.”