Blackpool fans hope Arsenal boycott will raise further awareness

Empty seats could be the theme again when Blackpool travel to Arsenal
Empty seats could be the theme again when Blackpool travel to Arsenal

Blackpool’s leading supporters’ group is hoping the boycott of the Seasiders’ Carabao Cup clash against Arsenal will help reinforce its message to the outside world.

In normal circumstances, supporters would be delighted to see their club handed a trip to the 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium.

But boycotting fans and those of a ‘Not A Penny More’ (NAPM) persuasion will be concerned at the cash Owen Oyston could pocket from the tie, which is played on Wednesday, October 31.

EFL regulations state clubs take 45 per cent each of gate receipts, with the remaining 10 per cent going into a ‘cup competition pool’, which is shared out among all clubs.

Blackpool Supporters’ Trust (BST) say the game presents an opportunity to show the “wider football public” that Pool fans continue to stand by their principles.

“Under normal circumstances, drawing a Premier League club in a cup competition would be cause for great excitement and a trip to the capital for Blackpool fans,” a BST spokesperson told The Gazette.

“Unfortunately, as we all know, normal circumstances have been absent from our club for a very long time.

“Due to the division of gate receipts between the two clubs, this game is not like a normal away match where fans who boycott home matches can pay on the gate so as to comply with a ‘Not A Penny More’ stance.

“For this reason, the many boycotting supporters who would dearly wish to attend this game will not do so.

“This game is yet another opportunity to show the wider football public that Blackpool fans are standing by their principles and refuse to put one more penny into the pockets of the owners who have been proven time and again to put themselves first.

“The recent England game against Croatia, which was played behind closed doors, showed just how powerful empty seats in a football stadium can be and how utterly pointless football would be without fans.

“The media picked up on this and a number of commentators have focused on the fact that football without fans is nothing.

“Blackpool fans have been living this principle for more than three years, a phenomenal effort. But we sincerely hope that we won’t need to do it for much longer. Good luck to Terry and the team – normal supporter service will be resumed as soon as possible!”