Blackpool poised for lowest crowd

Pool are set to open only one stand again on Saturday
Pool are set to open only one stand again on Saturday
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Blackpool’s attendance for Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Brackley Town could be their lowest for decades.

An official crowd of just 1,963 watched the first round win at home to Kidderminster, and 904 of those were sat in the visitors’ section.

The overall figure was also widely disputed, with BBC pundits commenting that there appeared to be “barely 1,000 in the ground”.

Only the West Stand was opened for Town’s 2-0 win over Kidderminster, with both sets of supporters either side of the central dugout and team benches.

The same arrangement is in place this weekend, when Pool will again welcome a club from the second tier of non-league.

Northamptonshire club Brackley are not expected to bring as many supporters as Kidderminster and had sold 230 tickets earlier this week.

It means a new record low attendance could be on the cards.

Blackpool Supporters Trust is encouraging fans to boycott home matches and its deputy chairman Christine Seddon said: “If the crowd is as low as we are expecting, then it just shows our message is getting across.

“We are glad the team is doing better but that makes no difference to our stance towards the owners.

“It will be no surprise at all if it is a low attendance. They have been getting low figures for home games anyway.

“The club thinks more people will come back if they start winning. Some might but we are boycotting on principle, not performances.”

Blackpool supporters who are boycotting held a protest outside the ground before the Kidderminster game earlier this month, when the Seasiders won their first FA Cup tie since 2012.

The ongoing row between a large section of Blackpool supporters and the club’s owners, the Oyston family, has seen attendances plummet since the Premier League season of 2010/11.

Many have pledged never to set foot back inside Bloomfield Road while the Oystons remain at the helm.

The official average attendance at Blackpool this season is 3,523, a figure which has been boosted by the bumper crowd of 5,471 for the visit of Carlisle, who brought 2,752 travelling supporters for the 2-2 draw in September.

Blackpool’s average attendance in League One last season was 7,052.

The actual number coming through the turnstiles may well be less than published as the official figures are believed to include all season ticket holders , whether they attend or not.

It is also thought that free tickets offered to youngsters may be included, even if these are not taken up.