New Blackpool chief Ben Hatton expects homecoming match to be more dramatic than PSG v Manchester United
Manchester United’s Champions League comeback victory against Paris St-Germain might have made for great drama but it won’t compare to Blackpool’s big homecoming.
That’s according to the club’s new managing director Ben Hatton, a United fan who was at the game in Paris on Wednesday evening.Hatton, who worked at Old Trafford between 1997 and 2007, has encouraged Seasiders fans to snap up the remaining 1,500 tickets for tomorrow’s clash with Southend United and help make it an occasion to remember.He said: “Everybody is passionate about their club and Blackpool is certainly no different.“I think what is different here is that latent, built-up passion that’s had no real outlet for four or so years.“That explosion of excitement this week has just been so incredible to see.“I’ve been to lots of football games. I was in Paris on Wednesday because, for my sins, I’m a Manchester United fan.“That game was pretty entertaining as a football spectacle and as an experience, but I think this coming Saturday is going to beat that hands down.“This is going to be a remarkable place on Saturday and anyone who loves football should really try to be here because it is sporting history. It’s a new dawn for a football club and it’s a real ‘I was there’ moment.”Hatton also issued a word of caution, suggesting tomorrow’s game will be a learning curve for the new board.He added: “This building will be full on Saturday. There will be 16,000 fans or so – that’s about five times the normal operating level of this building.“We’ve had to staff up for that. We’ve had to become operationally ready for that and the staff have had to become ready in a very short space of time.“There are only a handful of staff here who have ever seen this building like that and know how it operates.“So we’re asking fans to enjoy the carnival atmosphere but recognise we are all learning as well, so forgive us if there are some bumps in the road but we will get those right as the season progresses.“In terms of what we’re doing, we’re going to honour all those fans who enjoyed coming here before the protests started but are no longer with us.“We’ve got a lot of former players – 30 or 40 or so – and we’ve got the Nolan sisters, which personally I’m very, very excited about.”When asked if he believes the game will sell out, Hatton said: “My view is it will. I think we’ve got about 1,500 tickets left.“If you want to come, buy a ticket because the general consensus is it will be a sellout.”