Man arrested after sitting on roof of Arsenal team bus ahead of Blackpool FA Cup tie
A man was arrested ahead of Blackpool's FA Cup tie with Arsenal after climbing on top of the away team bus, delaying their arrival at the ground.
A statement from Lancashire police read: "At around 3 p.m. today [Jan. 5] we received a report that a Blackpool supporter had climbed on to the roof of the Arsenal team coach which was parked in the car park of the Marriott Hotel. He was spoken to by officers and came down after around 40 minutes.
"A man has been arrested on suspicion of an offence under the Trade Union Act and remains in police custody."
Arsenal were due to depart from the Marriott Hotel in Preston ahead of the match but the unidentified fan climbed on to the team bus, delaying its departure. Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette filmed the scene and posted to his Instagram story with the caption: "Why's [this] man doing this."
Unai Emery's side eventually turned up at around 4.10 p.m. GMT ahead of the 5.30 p.m. FA Cup tie, with extra security and stewards drafted in amid fears Blackpool fans would disrupt the match. Blackpool were fined £50,000 in 2015 after thousands invaded the pitch during a match against Huddersfield, forcing the game to be abandoned.
An open letter from Blackpool fans explaining why they are 'adoting an ethical boycot' for their FA Cup match with Arsenal. 'We are a club in crisis...our decision has not been taken lighly. We believe [the owners] only run BFC for their own benefit...' pic.twitter.com/pFlxy02oqJ— Layth (@laythy29) 5 January 2019
On Saturday, supporters staged an "ethical boycott" of the match at Bloomfield Road in protest against the ownership of the Oyston family. The unpopular owners have been protested against numerous times in recent years and flyers were handed out to visiting fans ahead of the match, explaining the reasons behind the protest.
"Blackpool is a club in crisis and you will find Bloomfield Road over three-quarters empty," the flyers read.
"Our supporters are undertaking a sustained ethical boycott against the club's owners, the Oystons. We believe they only run Blackpool FC for their own benefit."
Around 3,000 home supporters made the match on Saturday evening, while 5,200 Arsenal fans were in attendance. Owen Oyston, the majority owner of Blackpool, was among those in attendance.
Blackpool's stadium holds 17,000 and the club play their domestic football in League One, having played in the Premier League in 2010-11.