Blackpool suspend Leyton Orient ticket sales over safety & security concerns

Leyton Orient fans protest against owner Francesco Becchetti
Leyton Orient fans' protests against owner Francesco Becchetti forced a two-hour delay to the Colchester game

Blackpool's request to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans for Saturday's final game of the season for safety and security reasons has been backed by the English Football League.

The EFL said the request was supported to allow "a full review of the match day safety and security arrangements."

All parties will discuss the issue with the EFL executive, with an update expected on Tuesday at 18:00 BST.

Orient fan protests delayed the weekend defeat by Colchester by two hours.

Blackpool fans have also previously demonstrated against their owners, having been given a suspended charge and a £50,000 fine for failing to fulfil the Championship fixture with Huddersfield Town after a similar fans' protest in May 2015.

In a statement, the EFL said: "The EFL's objective will always be to ensure that fans of both clubs are able to watch the match live.

"But, in seeking to achieve this, we are required to consider all the contributing factors, to ensure that the safety of everyone at the game is not put at risk,"

Two clubs united by fan discontent?

Fans of the two teams joined together to march when the clubs met earlier in the season, after collaboration between the Leyton Orient Fans Trust and Blackpool Supporters Trust.

Blackpool supporters have generated several stunts in protest at the ownership of the Oyston family, from flying planes trailing banners over the ground, to boycotting matches, to staging an on-pitch sit-in.

Their frustrations have been heightened by relegation from the Premier League to League Two inside five seasons.

Orient's own decline under owner Francesco Becchetti has seen them slide from League One play-off challengers to relegation from the Football League for the first time in 112 years.

They have had five different managers this season, with Omer Riza the current incumbent.

In addition, honorary president Barry Hearn resigned from the role, staff have not been paid and there were immediate fears the club could fold before debts to Revenue & Customs were paid late last month.

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