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BST Gazette Column


As yet another season draws to a close with Blackpool FC staring a second successive relegation in the face, it is difficult not to feel down-hearted and helpless in the face of such a drastic and rapid decline.

Most people agree that our football club needs a change of ownership if we are ever going to be a properly run organisation with hope for the future, but enforcing that change seems to be a distant dream.

The question for most fans is: “what can I do that will make a real difference?”

When we act as individuals it is not unusual to feel that whatever actions we take are but a drop in the ocean as far as the bigger picture is concerned, that it really wouldn’t matter whether we take action or not, as our own small contribution won’t make a lot of difference.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Collective action is incredibly powerful and can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to resist. Every time we make a stand, take an action, join in, sign up, donate – whatever we choose to do – we empower ourselves. Combined with similar actions taken by other people we can start to bring about the changes which are necessary.

Blackpool fans have a number of options; there is the Not A Penny More campaign which simply means that as “customers” of the football club we can choose to withhold our revenue in protest at the way the club is being run. No business can survive long term without sufficient paying customers and so this is probably the single most effective action an individual can take.

Join BST – having a democratic Supporters’ Trust is vital to the long term future of our football club, if we want fans to be properly represented. The more members we have, the louder our voice and the more likely it is that the football authorities, local government representatives, potential new owners (and even the existing ones) will have to listen to us and consult us. It is easy to join and only costs £5 for a year – many people agree with the principle but “just haven’t got round to joining yet.” NOW is the time to DO it, not think about it. You can join on the website or speak to any of the committee before each home game, outside the west stand.

Join the community march – Judgement Day 2 is on 30th April and is an opportunity for football fans and members of the community to come together on a peaceful march and demonstration to send the strongest message yet that we want our football club back.

This protest is not about our league position and it is not about the players or the manager. It is about the cynical running of our club and the impact that has had on every Blackpool fan who has invested time, money and emotion in supporting the team that they love.

It is about the totally unnecessary demise of a valuable community asset, left to decline whilst the great wealth earned by the success of the team is apparently diverted to the owners’ other interests. It is about a local community left to struggle whilst a golden opportunity to benefit not just the football club but the town as a whole is squandered.

Doing nothing changes nothing so don’t sit at home feeling hopeless and despairing. Take action and empower yourself! This is OUR football club and WE are Blackpool FC. As long as there are Blackpool fans, our club will never die. Although it has already been a long battle, change IS coming and it is up to every one of us to play a part, however big or small, to make that change a reality.

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