Thousands of fans join protest march

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We want to be back watching our club – but not until the Oystons have gone.

That was the defiant message from organisers of a protest march against the way Blackpool FC is being run, which attracted around 6,000 football fans on Saturday.

Around 6,000 people took part in the Judgement Day Three protests

Around 6,000 people took part in the Judgement Day Three protests

Supporters of various clubs joined the demonstration, dubbed ‘Judgement Day Three’, ahead of the Seasiders’ final match of the season.

Protesters assembled near Blackpool Pleasure Beach before marching along the Promenade to Bloomfield Road where Pool went on to beat relegated Leyton Orient 3-1 and claim a spot in the League Two play-offs.

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust (BST) organised the march jointly with the Tangerine Knights group in protest at the way the Oyston family is running the club.

Leyton Orient fans, who have been vocal in their criticism of the ownership of their club, took part alongside them.

There are thousands of fans who won’t come back to what we see as a morally corrupt organisation

BST chairman Steve Rowland said: “It was noisy and there was a real buzz.

“We had 4,000 last year and we really hope it will be the last one. We want to be back supporting our club.”

He called for ‘regime change’, adding: “There are thousands of fans who won’t come back to what we see as a morally corrupt organisation.

“It’s an ethical boycott, we want to keep the pressure on.

“There were three times as many people outside in the rally as there were inside for the game.

“For the most part it was a peaceful, passionate protest.”

However, a few skirmishes were reported outside the ground as police horses were drafted in to contain the crowds assembled outside the stadium.

The ground was locked down for around 10 minutes before fans were let back in.

Christine Seddon, who helped organise the march, added: “We felt it went very well. There was a bigger turnout than last time. The police estimate was 6,000 people.

“The majority of the fans were absolutely fantastic.

“Unfortunately there were about 40 youngsters who, as soon as they got to the grounds, just ran at the gates.

“A couple of the floats were also set on fire.

“But the numbers are growing – we are wanting to come back to our club as soon as the Oystons have gone.”

An estimated 4,000 disgruntled Seasiders fans marched through the resort last year for Judgement Day Two, which coincided with the 4-0 defeat to Wigan which all but confirmed Pool’s relegation to League Two.

Leyton Orient’s final home match of the season, seven days before Saturday’s match, was interrupted and finished behind closed doors after fans staged a pitch invasion, which halted play, in protest against owner Francesco Becchetti.