EFL grants Blackpool's request to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans

The EFL has granted a request from Blackpool Football Club to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans for next Saturday's final game of the season.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 1st May 2017, 6:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:55 pm
Bloomfield Road
Bloomfield Road

It follows concerns that protesters representing both clubs could try and disrupt the game, which kicks off at 5.30pm after a huge protest is due to take place.

The march, dubbed 'Judgement Day 3', will see Blackpool and Leyton Orient fans unite to voice their disapproval at their respective owners.

The game is of huge significance to both teams - with Blackpool needing a win to guarantee a play-off space while it will be Leyton Orient's last game in the Football League following their relegation to non-league.

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It is understood Blackpool would like to cancel ticket sales to all visiting supporters altogether, a request the EFL will discuss at a meeting tomorrow morning. A further update is expected at 6pm on Tuesday.

Around 500 Leyton Orient fans have already purchased tickets and it is also understood they could be reimbursed.

The EFL issued the following statement: "The EFL has today supported a request from Blackpool FC to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans for Saturday’s final game of the Sky Bet League Two season.

"The decision was taken following a number of concerns raised by Blackpool ahead of the match on Saturday, May 6.

"The rationale for supporting this request is to allow sufficient time for a full review of the match day safety and security arrangements (and any options within these) against the certainty of knowing the specific number of tickets sold to date and in which areas of Bloomfield Road.

"The EFL's objective will always be to ensure that fans of both clubs are able to watch the match live, but in seeking to achieve this, we are required to consider all the contributing factors, to ensure that the safety of everyone at the game is not put at risk.

"Blackpool's concerns are not without foundation based on both the events that took place at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Saturday evening, and the fact that Blackpool themselves remain subject to a suspended charge following the failure to fulfill their Sky Bet Championship fixture against Huddersfield Town at Bloomfield Road on May 2, 2015.

"The EFL Executive will consider all the matters on Tuesday and ensure that all the relevant parties are given the opportunity to contribute, including Leyton Orient and LOFT (Leyton Orient Fans Trust).

"A further update will be provided at 6pm on Tuesday, May 2."

It comes after Orient’s game against Colchester United on Saturday was forced to be finished behind closed doors after an estimated 750 fans almost forced the game to be abandoned after invading the pitch.

Orient are bottom of the league and have already been relegated to non-league under the ownership of Francesco Becchetti.