Blackpool penalised for abandonment

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:17

Blackpool penalised for abandonment

Seasiders supporters entered the field of play in the second half of the season-ending fixture with the Terriers in protest at the club’s owners, eventually forcing the game to be called off when they did not move for over an hour.
Last week the Football Association fined the Tangerines £50,000 and decreed they would be made to play a competitive match behind closed doors next season if another game was to be disrupted by fans.
A commission set up by the Football League has now announced its ruling on the matter, handing Blackpool a three-point deduction which is suspended for two seasons.
However, despite an application from the Football League to force Blackpool to compensate Huddersfield supporters following the abandonment, the commission has ruled the club is not required to reimburse travelling Terriers fans.
The Football League declared back in May that the final result of the match would be 0-0, which was the score when the demonstrations started in the 48th minute, and the fixture would not be replayed as Huddersfield were already safe and Blackpool’s relegation into League One had been sealed weeks earlier.
But the Seasiders have now been punished by two separate bodies in the wake of that May 2 fixture and know they face much heavier sanctions if their supporters show their disgruntlement on the pitch once more this term.
Similar scenes forced a pre-season friendly against Lancaster to be called off only last month and the past week’s contest at Morecambe was played behind closed doors amid fears of further protests.
That clash with the Shrimps had initially been postponed and Blackpool issued a strong statement on their website at the time vowing to come down hard on those involved in previous demonstrations.
It read: “For the avoidance of doubt, the club will not stand by and allow the actions of a minority continue to hamper football being played.
“The club will hand out stadium bans to those involved in pitch invasions to date and pursue civil proceedings for damages, as well as further injunctions to include powers of arrest should anybody under the terms of a banning order attempt to enter the stadium.”
The unhappiness at the handling of affairs at Bloomfield Road has not dissipated in recent weeks and Blackpool Supporters Trust are hopeful of entering negotiations with owner Owen Oyston over a £16million leveraged buyout.

Huddersfield have expressed their discontent after the commission rejected their application for their travelling supporters to be paid compensation.
Town backed the Football League’s proposal to refund approximately £50,000 – the gate receipts Blackpool earned from Huddersfield’s away contingent.
But the three-man commission ruled it unfair just to compensate one set of supporters, with the club unable to seek compensation of their own accord.
Terriers chief executive Nigel Clibbens told the club’s official website: “This outcome means that our supporters, who were entirely innocent in the abandonment of the game and behaved impeccably despite attempts to encourage them to join in, have now been hit thanks to circumstances entirely out of their control. In the club’s opinion, Huddersfield Town fans have been treated really poorly and that is not right…
“It is cruelly ironic that the amount Town fans paid to Blackpool for tickets is broadly the same amount as Blackpool must also pay to the FA as a fine from its earlier hearing. So whilst our fans are left out of pocket, the £50,000 they could and should have had returned to them, will be going instead to the FA.
“Coming more than two months after the abandonment, it’s a real kick in the teeth for our fans who have waited patiently and for the club and will do nothing for the reputation and credibility of the football authorities in the eyes of supporters.
“We will speak to the Football League again once the detailed findings of the FDC are available, but as things stand it looks like the real losers in this are Huddersfield Town fans.”

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