The English Football League have released a statement, which states their support for Blackpool in suspending ticket sales for travelling Leyton Orient fans, when they play against each other on the final day of the season, on the 6th May.
The English Football League have stated that they have made the decision to support the Oyston’s (family owners of Blackpool) in their bid to suspend the ticket sales for Leyton Orient fans next weekend, after a number of concerns were raised by the Bloomfield Road side, who host the already-relegated Londoners.
Blackpool and Leyton Orient are both club members of the English Football League which face strong fan uproar and unrest, due to a fractious and broken relationship between the boards and the fans.
The EFL have made clear that the rationale behind the decision 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.”
On Saturday, Leyton Orient invaded the pitch in the 85th minute, which led to the game being suspended for a significant period of time before the EFL and officials made a decision to call a fake abandonment. After the 250 fans were cleared, and the stadium emptied, the officials and players were then seen coming out and conducting a full warm up to play the remainder of the game behind closed doors.
The EFL mentioned that the events over the weekend had an impact on their decision.
“Blackpool’s concerns are not without foundation based on both the events that took place at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Saturday evening.”
Blackpool and the EFL’s likely concerns are that both sets of protesting fans could collude and participate in a joint effort to show their dissatisfaction towards both their owners on the final day of the season, which could involve another pitch invasion. A joint protest is actually something which has also been seen in League One this season, between protesting Charlton Athletic and Coventry City fans, at The Valley and the Ricoh.