Promoted Blackpool may have thought of a novel way of levelling the playing field against the English Premier League's big guns next season - the vuvuzela. The controversial plastic trumpets have been banned by Tottenham, Birmingham City, West Ham and Arsenal as well as by a number of other Football League clubs, but it has been suggested that Blackpool, by far the smallest club in the league in terms of playing budget, might allow fans to bring them to their Bloomfield Road ground in the hope of intimidating opponents.
Blackpool were noncommittal yesterday, saying they have not even considered the matter as they have other priorities - not least player recruitment and construction of a new stand - before the season begins on August 14. A club spokesman said: "We haven't really given any full consideration to vuvuzelas at the moment. "We've had plenty of other things occupying the mind with a debut season in the Premier League to prepare for. Any decision will be taken in due course and in consultation with relevant supporter groups."
A statement added that the club's previous assertion they are keen to ensure the atmosphere is better than ever "does not necessarily mean that vuvuzelas will be permitted". The Bloomfield Road stadium has just three sides. The club are hastily trying to build a new stand to take the capacity to 16,900 but their opening game against nearby Wigan has been switched to the DW Stadium to buy them more time.
Spurs were the first Premier League club to ban vuvuzelas and Arsenal and West Ham followed suit yesterday by announcing they were not welcome at their stadiums. Arsenal said it was "to ensure the enjoyment and safety of supporters" while West Ham called the horns "a potential weapon" and a possible "annoyance ". * PA