Shrimps cancel Blackpool game

Date published: Thursday 16th July 2015 10:06

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The Seasiders’ first fixture under new manager Neil McDonald was called off 75 minutes in at Lancaster on Saturday after fans invaded the pitch to demonstrate at the way the club is being run.

Tuesday night’s away fixture at Blyth Spartans was completed without any problems but Morecambe, which is considerably closer to Blackpool, believe their July 28 meeting with the Tangerines had been earmarked for more protests and would therefore require a significant police presence.

A statement on the Sky Bet League 2 club’s official website read: “Morecambe Football Club has this evening announced that the pre-season friendly match versus Blackpool on Tuesday July 28 has been cancelled.

“Recent intelligence received by both clubs suggests a strong possibility of the match being disrupted by protesting supporters and consequently the clubs have reluctantly agreed to the game’s cancellation.”

McDonald’s men only have two more pre-season friendlies slated, against St Johnstone in Scotland on July 25 and against Accrington at the Store First Stadium on July 31, before they begin life in League 1.

Their most recent competitive match, against Huddersfield on the final day of the Championship season, was also abandoned by pitch-invading supporters.

Blackpool later issued their own statement on the Morecambe cancellation in which they expressed their disappointment that threats of protests were hindering their pre-season preparations.

“The decision to cancel the game is based on intelligence gathered by Lancashire Constabulary and a subsequent risk assessment, raising safety concerns in light of a planned protest,” a statement on their official website read.

“The level of police resources deemed necessary to stage the friendly fixture left both clubs with no alternative but to come to this agreement.

“The club is extremely disappointed that this decision has had to be taken, disrupting preparation for manager Neil McDonald and his first-team squad ahead of the new season. The club also feels for supporters who planned to attend the match and support the team.

“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.”

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