Arsenal delayed for FA Cup clash against Blackpool after protester climbs on team bus

Sports Staff
The Independent

Arsenal were delayed leaving their team hotel for the club’s FA Cup third round clash against Blackpool this evening after a disgruntled home supporter sat on top of their team bus.

A number of Blackpool fans are planning to hold demonstrations against the club’s controversial owner, Owen Oyston, ahead of the match this evening.

The club have sold less than 3,000 tickets for the televised clash, with Blackpool’s average attendance sinking to less than 4,000 this season following continuous protests against their owner.

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And one fan began the planned protests early when he climbed onto the roof of Arsenal’s team coach as it was parked outside their hotel, thereby preventing it leaving on time for the match.

Lancashire Police were called to the scene and another bus was called to the hotel, with Arsenal departing for Bloomfield Road behind schedule.

The Police have been placed on alert for disgruntled supporters attempting to abandon the match, with 20-30 officers expected to be placed inside the ground.

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A Lancashire Police statement published ahead of the match read: “Anybody entering the field of play without permission will be committing criminal offences and will be dealt with appropriately.”

Blackpool fan group, The Muckers, told The Daily Mail: “We are calling on all Blackpool fans to make their feelings known towards the owners in a non-violent but direct way.

“We will be present and encourage people not to enter the pitch, which we would condemn.”

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