Blackpool fans loud and proud in protest outside EFL HQ
Angry Blackpool supporters vented their frustration at the EFL with a protest outside their headquarters this afternoon.
The protest, organised by supporters’ group the Tangerine Knights, saw disgruntled Pool fans travel to Preston to voice their dissatisfaction at what they consider the EFL’s lack of action over the running of their football club.
Around 150 supporters marched from the train station, down Fishergate towards EFL House where they vented their anger with chants aimed towards the EFL, chief executive Shaun Harvey as well as Blackpool owner Owen Oyston.
Placards were also attached to the railings outside.
The majority of the crowd was taken up by Blackpool fans but supporters of Leeds United, Bradford City and AFC Wimbledon were also in attendance.
A spokesman for the Tangerine Knights said: “There was probably over 100 here. Considering the weather and the fact it took place at 3pm, that turnout isn’t bad at all.
“For people to give their time up is brilliant.
“We now hope the EFL take note of all this.
“If we can get over 100 people turn out on a horrible day like this, just imagine what we could manage on a lovely sunny day in summer.
“We just hope they will talk to us. If they don’t, well they can be rest assured we will be back.
“Blackpool’s protests are always light-hearted, good natured and loud. We might not have had 1,000 people here, but it sounded like it.”
As part of their protest, Blackpool fans have also launched a petition calling on the government to introduce a regulator ensuring the “highest possible standards of governance for all clubs”.
The petition calling on reform of the EFL has gained more than 5,000 signatures in its first week.
Should the petition reach 10,000 signatures, the government will have to respond. A parliamentary debate will be held if it reaches 100,000.
Blackpool supporters wrote to the EFL back in December after the club’s owners, the Oystons, lost their High Court battle against former director Valeri Belokon.
The Oystons were ordered to pay Belokon Â£31.27m after it was found they had “illegitimately stripped” the football club following its promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
A High Court judge ruled Belokon had been unfairly prejudiced. The club was put up for sale just four days later but Owen Oyston remains owner.
Blackpool Supporters’ Trust, the club’s largest fans’ group, believes the EFL has failed to act on its multiple enquiries and calls for action against Blackpool’s owners.
The EFL's position is that it is a simply a competition regulator which can only operate within the bounds of rules provided by the clubs within it.
On Thursday, the EFL announced it will convene a meeting with Blackpool supporters later this month to discuss the ongoing situation at the football club.
An EFL Spokesman said: “The EFL acknowledges the right of those fans who chose to take part in the protest at EFL House this afternoon.
"We appreciate the manner in which the group of supporters conducted themselves and, as per yesterday’s announcement, we will now work on finalising the details of the meeting with representatives of the Blackpool fan groups which will take place later this month.”