League Two play-off final 2017: Blackpool Supporters Trust to boycott Wembley outing

Blackpool fans
Blackpool fans have been protesting about the ownership for a number of seasons
League Two play-off final
Date: Sunday, 28 May Kick-off: 15:00 BST Venue: Wembley Stadium
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Devon; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Blackpool Supporters' Trust (BST) will continue their boycott of Blackpool matches by not going to Wembley for Sunday's League Two play-off final.

BST have not attended home matches at Bloomfield Road this season in protest at the ownership of the Oyston family.

Blackpool will secure a return to League One if they beat Exeter.

"I'm really torn here as this is the first play-off final I've not been to for over a quarter of a century," said BST chairman Steve Rowland.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire: "Sadly, the majority of fans won't be going this year but we'll still be hoping the team wins, obviously.

"I think they'll be lucky to get 5,000 fans going to the game. The majority will be watching in pubs."

When contacted by BBC Radio Lancashire on Friday for the amount of tickets sold, Blackpool said more than 5,700 had been purchased so far.

By contrast, when the Tangerines were at Wembley for the 2010 and 2012 Championship play-off finals they reportedly took over 30,000 fans for each game.

Blackpool fans
Blackpool fans invaded the pitch on the final day of the 2014-15 season to protest, resulting in their game against Huddersfield being abandoned

Protests about how owner Owen Oyston and his son, chairman Karl, are running the club took place outside Bloomfield Road before their final home game of the season against Leyton Orient, as well as a joint protest in January with Blackburn supporters before their FA Cup tie.

In 2011, Blackpool fans were contemplating life back in the second tier after a one-season stay in the Premier League, only being relegated on the final day of the campaign at Manchester United.

Since then, the Seasiders spent three seasons in the Championship and then suffered back-to-back relegations to drop to League Two for the first time since 2000-01.

"If they do win and get promoted it won't change the position, the majority of people will not be buying season tickets next season," added Rowland.

"The Oystons need to understand this and if they really have the best interests of this club, the community and the town at heart, they'll put the club up for sale."

A double celebration?

Gary Bowyer
Gary Bowyer has signed 18 players on full-time or loan deals this season

For Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer, the final on Sunday is already a significant date in the diary.

"I'm reliably informed it is my wedding anniversary as well so I've got a great opportunity this year of getting that right," said the 45-year-old.

He joked: "It's a special date, a top day for her. All expenses spared, she can't be moaning at this one."

As well as the club looking to recover, Bowyer had been looking for some personal rehabilitation.

Sacked by Blackburn in November 2015 under difficult financial circumstances where he was unable to buy players, he was appointed by Blackpool at the start of the season on a 12-month rolling deal and built an almost completely new squad.

A win on Sunday would mean he would face his former club in League One next season after Rovers' relegation from the Championship.

"I was out of work and it was very difficult to take," he added. "This presented an opportunity to be back in work.

"I was aware of what needed to be done in terms of building the stability and laying some foundations down and I was able to call on my experience at Blackburn - I've found over the course of the year it has helped me."

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