Huddersfield Town extremely disappointed by outcome
- FDC rejects application from Football League, which was backed by HTAFC
- FDC will publish its full written reasons in due course
- Response from Huddersfield Town Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens
An independent Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC) has rejected an application from The Football League (FL), which was supported by Huddersfield Town, for Blackpool FC to be required to pay compensation to Huddersfield supporters following the abandoned game on 2 May 2015.
Under FL rules, Town had no right to seek compensation for its fans in its own right.
However, the FL sought that the FDC award the equivalent of the gate receipts paid by Town fans to Blackpool for away ticket sales; approximately £50,000. HTAFC backed that application.
The FL application related to the Sky Bet Championship fixture that was controversially abandoned on 2 May 2015 after a number of Blackpool supporters took over the pitch in a pre-planned invasion from the home areas.
The three person FDC ruled that the game’s abandonment affected law-abiding supporters of both clubs equally and it would therefore be unfair to favour the interests of one group of supporters (Town fans) over the other.
The FDC also ruled that Blackpool is to be deducted three points, to be suspended for the next two seasons, for failing to fulfil the club’s fixture with Town. The Seasiders were also required to pay the costs of the hearing.
The FDC will publish its full written reasons in due course.
for the full Football League statement.
Huddersfield Town’s Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens commented on the ruling:
“It hardly needs saying, but Huddersfield Town is extremely disappointed with the outcome of the Football Disciplinary Commission. The Club was informed by the Football League just before the announcement and we expressed our feelings very clearly to them straight away.
“Throughout the disciplinary processes of both the FA and the Football League over the last two months, Huddersfield Town’s main focus has been its supporters and doing its upmost to fight on Town fans’ behalf to ensure those who paid over money to Blackpool in good faith to watch the final game of last season were properly and fairly treated. This simply meant they got their money back.
“The Club made its feelings and position clear on that subject straight after the game to the Football League, then to the Football Association and then again to the Football Disciplinary Commission in its representations in support of the Football League's application.
“This outcome means that our supporters, who were entirely innocent in the abandonment of the game and behaved impeccably despite attempts to encourage them to join in, have now been hit thanks to circumstances entirely out of their control. In the Club’s opinion, Huddersfield Town fans have been treated really poorly and that is not right.
“I’m sure many fans will find it somewhat absurd to firstly say the game’s abandonment did affect law-abiding fans, including Town supporters; go onto say both sets of fans need to be treated the same and then to fail to address the impact on either set of fans.
“It is cruelly ironic that the amount Town fans paid to Blackpool for tickets is broadly the same amount as Blackpool must also pay to the FA as a fine from its earlier hearing. So whilst our fans are left out of pocket, the £50,000 they could and should have had returned to them, will be going instead to the FA.
“Coming more than two months after the abandonment, it's a real kick in the teeth for our fans who have waited patiently and for the Club and will do nothing for the reputation and credibility of the football authorities in the eyes of supporters.
“We will speak to the Football League again once the detailed findings of the FDC are available, but as things stand it looks like the real losers in this are Huddersfield Town fans.”