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Blackpool fans boycott draw with Leeds United




Hundreds of Blackpool fans boycotted Saturday's 1-1 Championship draw with Leeds United. Many of them watched non-league AFC Blackpool in protest swelling their normal gate of 35 to over 500.

The fans of the Championship's bottom side are protesting against the club's owners, the Oyston family and perceived lack of investment.

Blackpool have won just four games all season and are set to be relegated over Easter.

Saturday's attendance of 11,688 was significantly higher than Tuesday's 9,168 against Charlton but was heavily boosted by a large travelling support from Leeds.

Tangerine Knights said on Twitter they estimated between four and six hundred Blackpool fans attended AFC Blackpool's game instead of the Championship clash.

It did the trick as the Mechanics, who usually play in front of home crowds of around 35, beat Bootle 2-1 with 503 people in attendance.

The Tangerines were relegated from the Premier League in 2010-11 after one season.

They came close to an immediate return to the top flight the following season, losing to West Ham United in the play-off final at Wembley.

However, since then the Bloomfield Road side have struggled and the fans have become increasingly unhappy with how the club has been run by owner Owen Oyston and chairman son Karl.

Last month about 1,000 fans protested over the running of the club, while in October some fans walked out in the 53rd minute of their game against Cardiff - in reference to Blackpool winning the FA Cup in 1953.

Karl Oyston is currently part of an on-going Football Association investigation over allegations he sent a supporter a number of abusive text messages.

Both Owen and Karl Oyston began legal action against fan David Ragozzino and a web forum for libel earlier this year.

On the field, the Tangerines have won just four matches all season and, barring a miracle, will be playing in League One for the first time since 2007 next season.

HG

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