Football

Blackpool fined £50,000 for pitch invasion

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Blackpool have been fined £50,000 by the Football Association following the pitch invasion which caused their final match of last season against Huddersfield at Bloomfield Road to be abandoned.

The Seasiders' final fixture was halted after 48 minutes when supporters poured on to the pitch in protest at the club's chairman, Karl Oyston.

After a sit-in demonstration in the centre circle that lasted more than an hour, the referee, Mick Russell, called the fixture off.

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An FA statement on Thursday said: "The FA charge, which the club denied, was for failing to control spectators resulting in a pitch incursion which caused Blackpool's game against Huddersfield Town to be abandoned."

The League One club were also "severely warned as to future conduct" following an independent regulatory commission hearing.

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Blackpool were also ordered to play their first home competitive game of the 2015/16 season behind closed doors, with this sanction suspended for a year.

Blackpool's pre-season friendly at Lancaster earlier this month was also abandoned after a number of fans invaded the pitch.

Fans have protested loudly at the way the club has been run for the last two years and relations between them and both Owen Oyston and his son Karl reached rock bottom at the end of last season.

Karl Oyston was last month banned from football for six weeks and fined £40,000 by the FA for calling supporter Stephen Smith ''a retard'' and telling him to ''enjoy the rest of your special needs day out'' during a text-message exchange last November.

The chairman was also involved in a public fall-out with club president Valerie Belokon at the start of last season and has issued legal proceedings against several fans for defamatory comments made about him and the club.

The club prompted fury among supporters ahead of last season's clash with Huddersfield by removing the statue of 1953 FA Cup final hero Stan Mortensen from outside of the ground ahead of a proposed fans' protest.

The Huddersfield game proved to be final straw for manager Lee Clark, who quit shortly afterwards.

Neil McDonald, former assistant manager at West Ham, has since been appointed as Clark's successor.

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