Fans voice their anger in protest

Blackpool fans protest outside Bloomfield Road against the owner Owen John Oyston and the way the club is being run  Photographer Stephen White/CameraSport  Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Blackpool v Leeds United - Saturday 21st March 2015 - Bloomfield Road - Blackpool  � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Blackpool fans protest outside Bloomfield Road against the owner Owen John Oyston and the way the club is being run Photographer Stephen White/CameraSport Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Blackpool v Leeds United - Saturday 21st March 2015 - Bloomfield Road - Blackpool � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
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Hundreds of Blackpool fans gathered in the largest demonstration yet this season outside Bloomfield Road.

Eggs were thrown at office windows and tangerine-coloured flares set off as supporters once more called for an end to the Oyston regime, as the club stares relegation in the face with the embarrassing possibility of recording the lowest points tally for a season.

Fifteen minutes before kick-off at Bloomfield Road, the disillusioned fans led an exodus to watch minnows AFC Blackpool face Bootle FC in the North West Counties League.

Tangerine Knights organised the protest at Bloomfield Road before the Championship side’s match with Leeds.

Knights spokesman Steve Smith said fans had “simply had enough”.

He said: “We’re voting with our feet today and supporting a local team who find themselves in financial difficulties through no fault of their own.

“The long-term hope for 
today is that we remove the Oystons from the club and get new investment into the club.

“I hope today we get our voices heard and that it’s a noisy but peaceful protest.

Despite the flares and egg-throwing, no arrrests were made outside the ground.

Trevor Martin, 32, of South Shore, said: “I just don’t see what the point is coming anymore. If Karl Oyston doesn’t care then why should we?

“I’ve been going to the club through thick and thin but never have things been worse.”

Graham Moore, 68, from Bolton, has been a fan for more than 60 years and has not been to a game since manager Jose Riga was sacked.

He said: “I’ve been through the good times and bad times. We had the amazing feelings of being in the Premier League and now the desperate times of facing relegation to League One.

Louise Cook, 49, of Marton, said: “I hope these protests show how much ill feeling there is.”

Iain Hall, 60, from Blackburn, travelled more than 30 miles for the protest.

He said: “The Oystons have run our club into the ground. I bought a two year season ticket on the basis there would be change, but it’s clear that Karl Oyston is not bothered.”

By the time Blackpool had kicked-off in their eventual 1-1 draw with Leeds, protesters had already taken their places at the Mechanics stadium to watch ninth tier AFC Blackpool play their fixture against Bootle FC.

Disillusioned Tangerines fans swelled the attendance to 503. Average AFC Blackpool crowds this season have hovered around the 35 mark.

Tommy Sanderson, vice-chairman of AFC Blackpool said the day was “nothing short of phenomenal”.

He said: “Today was not just a boost for AFC Blackpool, it’s a boost for grass roots football – it’s been nothing short of phenomenal.

“The income from the gate alone will keep the wolves from knocking on our door and allow us to pay our electric bill for next month.

“It would be fabulous to retain some of the fans here today but we recognise they are Blackpool fans first and foremost and we respect that.”

Malcolm Andrew, 60, of Poulton, was just one of the hundreds who made the trip to see AFC Blackpool defeat the Merseysiders 2-1.

He has been a Blackpool fan for 52 years but felt “it’s the lowest he has ever been”.

He said: “I’ve not been for six or seven games now and I used to go home and away.

“I no longer have the appetite for Blackpool, even if they score, I feel no buzz or excitement. I am totally fed up of the Oyston regime.

Mr Andrew, former chairman of the Blackpool Supporrters Association, believes that supporting Blackpool FC has become a lost cause.

“I didn’t go the demo earlier because Karl Oyston loves it, he’s just laughing at us now.

“All the fans want to see is a little bit of investment – until then we won’t be back.”