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Premier League official drafted in to take charge of Blackpool v Portsmouth

Jon Moss has been brought in to referee Blackpool's game due to increased attention. Credit: PA

Referee Ben Toner is no longer refereeing Blackpool's Sky Bet League One clash with Portsmouth on Saturday due to the game being under "increased attention".

The match is the Seasiders' first since their majority owner the Oyston family were found guilty of "unfair prejudice" in their running of the club and were ordered to pay businessman Valeri Belokon, a minority shareholder, £31million.

The match official's name became the subject of a social media joke amongst fans, but the EFL says that has nothing to do with its decision to replace him at Bloomfield Road with Premier League referee Jon Moss.

Toner, from Lancashire, will instead take charge of the League Two meeting between Carlisle and Yeovil at Brunton Park.

An EFL spokesman said: "As a result of the increased attention surrounding this weekend's League One fixture between Blackpool and Portsmouth, PGMOL has determined it would be appropriate for a Select Group 1 referee to take charge of proceedings at Bloomfield Road.

"The previously selected official will instead fill a vacancy that has arisen at Brunton Park for the League Two match between Carlisle United and Yeovil Town, as the referee who was scheduled to officiate sustained an injury during Bury's game with Stoke City Under-21s on Wednesday evening."

The Oystons, who were found guilty of excluding Belokon's company VB Football from key decisions, information and share of profits, put the club up for sale on Friday.



Blackpool owner admits FA charges over text message

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has admitted to five breaches of Football Association rules for a text-message exchange in which he called a Seasiders supporter "a retard".

Karl Oyston is not the most popular of football owners. Credit: PA

The FA first opened a probe into Oyston's conversations with fan Stephen Smith back in December and followed that up by bringing a charge against him in March.

However, Oyston denied that charge one month later and challenged it as "unlawful", a claim which the governing body last week announced was dismissed by an arbitral tribunal.

Now, the FA has confirmed that a hearing on the matter will take place next Tuesday.

Dreadful pitch at Blackpool in spotlight once again

The dismal state of Blackpool's pitch came into focus once again following Saturday's 4-4 draw against Nottingham Forest.

Less than a week after Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka slammed the pitch at Bloomfield Road when two of his players suffered injuries there, Blackpool's own Darren O'Dea was stretchered off on Saturday.

Should the Championship strugglers be docked points for this?

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