Early Doors

Why did Blackpool fans throw tennis balls and tangerines onto the pitch?

Early Doors

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Blackpool fans staged a bizarre protest, hurling tennis balls and tangerines onto the pitch at Bloomfield Road during the game against Burnley.

Supporters are frustrated at owner Karl Oyston's lack of investment - Blackpool were a Premier League side three years ago, but the 1-0 defeat to Burnley left them just one place above the Championship relegation zone - with third-tier football a worryingly real possibility.

The novel protest was inspired by fans of Swiss teams Luzern and Basel, who halted play with a rain of tennis balls to protest against their fixture time being moved to accomodate TV coverage of a Roger Federer match in 2010.

The tangerines were more self-explanatory, matching Blackpool's nickname.

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Player manager Barry Ferguson, who angrily kicked and threw balls back into the crowd, said after the game: "The fans have got every right to demonstrate if they don't like the chairman or the board.

"I would just rather they do it before the game or after the game. At that stage, we were on top of (Burnley)."

Pitch invaders also disrupted play, while there was chaos in the Blackpool dugout when coach Bob Malcolm became embroiled in a physical confrontation with substitute Stephen Dobbie.

However the protests appear to be falling on deaf ears. Karl Oyston's son Sam has previously tweeted a picture of the owner smiling next to a banner accusing him of treating the club as a cash cow.

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