March organisers angry at ‘obstacles’

Blackpool FC fans protest before the match against Huddersfield
Blackpool FC fans protest before the match against Huddersfield
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The organisers of a planned protest against the owners of Blackpool FC have hit out at “obstacles” they faced ahead of the march later this month.

The Tangerine Knights protest group is planning a demonstration on the Promenade about the running of the club, ahead of the Seasiders’ home game against Fleetwood Town on November 28.

Blackpool FC fans protest before the match against Huddersfield

Blackpool FC fans protest before the match against Huddersfield

Complications caused by roadworks in the area forced Blackpool Supporters’ Trust to pull out of planning the march following negotiations with Blackpool Council and Lancashire Police.

The council told organisers there was not enough time for a road closure order to be granted and it would cost around £3,000 for its staff to manage the march.

But the Tangerine Knights yesterday issued a statement saying the group would “proceed without their approval”.

It added: “We feel that there have been far too many obstacles from various quarters for this particular protest.”

Blackpool Council said it dealt with the request in the same it would for any other event. Currently staff can only waive traffic management fees for charity events.

A letter sent by the council’s transport department to the organisers said: “Due to the ongoing works to Princess Street Bridge, we cannot support or condone a protest or march along Bloomfield Road or Seasiders Way.”

BST said it offered an alternative route along Lytham Road and Lonsdale Road.

It added: “Not surprisingly, this proposal has not received approval and in such circumstances our organisation would be liable for any accident or injury caused to protestors or the general public on the route of the march.”

The Tangerine Knights said it would press ahead with a march along the Promenade from the Comedy Carpet to Woodfield Road, while BST will revisit its original plans in spring.

Ch Insp Keith Ogle, of Lancashire Police, said: “All we have done is make the organisers aware of their responsibilities if they are going to run a march and pointed them in the direction of the council. We will facilitate peaceful protests.”

Blackpool Council said it advised the organisers on alternative routes and would continue to do so .