'Low key' policing operation in place for Blackpool's EFL protest

Lancashire Police are expecting the protest to go off peacefully on Friday
Lancashire Police are expecting the protest to go off peacefully on Friday

A "low key" policing operation will be in place for Blackpool fans' protest outside the EFL's headquarters in Preston on Friday.

Blackpool supporters, incensed by the EFL’s lack of action over the running of their football club, will march to Preston on Friday afternoon.

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey has faced calls by Blackpool fans to step down from his position

EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey has faced calls by Blackpool fans to step down from his position

The EFL, the governing body of 72 professional league clubs, has been bombarded with correspondence from Blackpool fans in recent weeks, calling on them to take action against rogue owners.

But they have been left dissatisfied with the responses they have received, leaving supporters’ group the Tangerine Knights feeling as though they have no other choice but to protest outside the EFL’s headquarters down the M55.

The march is due to take place from 2.30pm onwards on Friday, March 2, and fans of football clubs from across the country are being urged to join them.

Senior officials at the EFL told The Gazette they are aware of the plans but declined to comment.

READ MORE: 'Enough is enough' - Blackpool fans launch plan to protest outside EFL headquarters

Lancashire Police say they are also aware of the protest and will put a “proportionate response” in place should it be required.

Chief inspector David Mangan said: “We are aware of plans by a number of fans to demonstrate outside the English Football League (EFL) House in Preston on Friday.

“A low-key policing operation will be in place, with fans expected to arrive by train at Preston Railway Station before walking to West Cliff for 2.30pm. The fans will then return to the station later in the afternoon.

“Our aim as always is to ensure a consistent and coordinated policing response and ensure a balance between the rights of people to peacefully protest, together with the rights of the wider public, including local businesses, to go about their lawful activities.

“We will work with Blackpool fans to facilitate their peaceful protest and provide reassurance to members of staff working at the EFL HQ along with other local residents.

"Our staff will help to minimise any disruption or disorder in the area however, if it does occur we will provide an effective, lawful and proportionate response.”