Protest prevents Arsenal coach from leaving hotel

A man has been arrested after Arsenal’s team coach was prevented from making the journey to their FA Cup clash at Blackpool.

A protesting Blackpool fan sat on top of the Arsenal coach as it waited to depart the Preston Marriott Hotel, causing the London club to take alternative transport to Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool fans have staged a mass boycott of home matches this campaign to protest against owners the Oyston family and used the occasion of their highest-profile game of the season to deploy unusual tactics.

With the fan apparently refusing to move, Arsenal travelled in a replacement vehicle and entered the stadium via a back entrance, with more protesting supporters camped outside the main door.

A man has since been arrested “on suspicion of an offence under the Trade Union Act and remains in police custody,” Lancashire Police said.

“At around 3pm today (5 January) 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,” a police statement said.

“He was spoken to by officers and came down after around 40 minutes.”

Since being in the Premier League in 2010, Blackpool have fallen down to League Two, before promotion to the third tier in 2017.

Fans protested outside Bloomfield Road ahead of the Arsenal clash, many brandishing ‘Oyston Out’ scarves and banners.

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