Blackpool Supporters’ Trust Newsletter #50 July 2021

Welcome to what is already proving to be a productive and very enjoyable summer, as we look forward to the next chapter in the Sadler era. As ever there is plenty to talk about so we will get going with:



Shirts Initiative for Year 2 schoolchildren


We wrote to all Members earlier in the year, proposing that the Trust should commit £15,000 to underwrite the purchase of Blackpool shirts for every Year 2 Child in a Blackpool school who wanted one. We are acutely conscious of the fact that in recent years the club had lost its connection with the community - and are determined to play our part in putting that right.


We are therefore delighted to be working collaboratively with the football club and Community Trust on this initiative, and excited that, come the beginning of the new school year, the playing fields locally will be a sea of tangerine. More details about how the logistics of this task will be handled will be published shortly.


For now, this is a one-off initiative, given the cost; but if there is the opportunity for us to raise the funds needed to repeat the exercise in future years, we would dearly love to make it a regular event. If you have good ideas about how we raise monies to do so we are always pleased to hear from you and you can send any ideas to us by e-mail at


bst-secretary@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com



Supporting the Blackpool Community (1)


With the onset of the new football season, and some loosening of the rules around COVID, we are again in the business of providing active assistance to local Foodbank initiatives in the Blackpool area.


BST will have a presence at the Armfield Club on home match days to accept any contributions you wish to make, and we are looking at having designated collection evenings away from match days as well. We will publicise these in advance; any support you can give will be very gratefully received and makes a huge difference to local families who may be struggling with difficult circumstances.



Supporting the Blackpool Community (2)


BST are very pleased to announce that we are now supporting the “Football Rebooted” campaign. The central premise is very simple - why throw away football boots - especially for children - when they can be recycled? The environmental benefits are considerable, and in addition this initiative can help ease the financial pressure on families who might be struggling to afford them.


Our colleagues at the Community Trust are leading on this, but the project has widespread support, including from Paul Maynard MP. If you want to do your bit to help, then recycling old football boots that you and your family have no further use for is an easy way to do so. if you would like to know more about this initiative, you can find it at


https://footballrebooted.co.uk


The website also provides a useful guide on how to donate boots through a free postal system.



Supporting the Blackpool Community (3)


We wrote to Members recently to ask your permission to buy two pairs of season tickets (adult and junior) that could be donated to local good causes. You were kind enough to give us your support.


In fact, we have in the end been able to buy and donate FOUR pairs of tickets to local organisations, because of the generosity of two of our members, who each paid for an additional pair of tickets out of their own pocket. This means that in addition to supporting Home Start and Boathouse Youth, we are also able to make a pair of tickets available to Layton Primary and St. Mary’s schools.


We would like to place on the record our thanks to Sarah and her team in the club ticket office, who were helpfulness personified.


Sponsored Players - Framed Shirts


We have in the last few days taken possession of the shirts for the players we sponsored in the 2020/21 season (Gary Madine and CJ Hamilton). These are both signed and framed and would make a very attractive addition to the home of any ‘Pool fan.


We have been given “first refusal” on sponsoring both of these players again in 2021/22, but at a cost of £480 per player (including VAT), our recommendation is that we should probably choose just one.


If you have any firm views on which player we should opt for, please make them known to us by e-mailing our Membership Secretary at


memberships@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com


by Saturday 24th July 2021 at the latest, as we have to let the club know our preference by 26th July.


We have not yet taken any decisions on how to use the two shirts we have to help generate funds. Again, if you have any ideas on how we might do so, or views on the best timing, you can contact the Membership Secretary on the e-mail address above.



The Fan Led Review


As many of you will know, the Fan Led Review (FLR) of the way that football is governed is now well underway. Some Q&A about its remit and how it came about is on our website at https://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/fan-led-review


Given how hard and long we have campaigned for change in this area, this is a very pleasing moment for us. For far too long ordinary football fans who spend large amounts of time and money following their football team have been short-changed by the bodies that run the sport in England. At a time when fifty of Europe’s fifty-four footballing nations have an independent system of regulation, it is shameful that the richest League in the world is one of the four that doesn’t.


As you might expect, we have been busy already in support of the FLR. On 15th June we gave oral evidence to Tracey Crouch and her expert panel; and we have also submitted written evidence that tells our, unique story and sets out our ideas about what needs to change - and how. We continue to support the FSA as actively as we can in terms of policy development.


A copy of our written evidence is also on the website in the “Fan Led Review” section. It runs to around twenty-five pages and five graphs, so if you want to start with a shorter version, an executive summary is also provided.


By the time you receive this Newsletter, we hope that Tracey Crouch’s interim recommendations to the Government will have been published. We will publish details on the website as and when we have them.


Upcoming Meetings


It had been our intention to mark the first home game of the new season with a Members General Meeting, our feeling was that we could mark a new season with a chance for people to meet and catch up with old friends and discuss the business of the Trust.


We have - very reluctantly - decided to put these plans on hold. Our friends at the Armfield Club are very happy to host us, but given the current uncertainties at the national level, and the very high levels of COVID infection in the Blackpool area, we recognise this could create an unnecessary health risk.


We therefore intend to wait - and to hold a full Annual General Meeting around November, to coincide with our annual elections (see below).


BST Elections 2021


We are this year making some adjustments to our electoral cycle to get us back to a position whereby we are electing one third of the Committee every year, with Members serving a three-year term.


The position this year is slightly complicated by the fact that we have two vacancies. Both Derek Spence and Danny Morgan are standing down due to pressure of other commitments. We are sure you will wish to join us in thanking them for their contribution - both will be very much missed.


As usual, the electoral process will be overseen by an Electoral Management Team, which will consist of a Trust Member, the Trust Secretary and an independent Chair with no connection with BST. We will provide details on this at the same time as we invite candidates to put themselves forward.


Pyrotechnics


This is the first time that we have written to you since the serious life changing injuries that were suffered by Paul Markham outside Bloomfield Road and caused by a lit firework. This issue is all the more topical as we all prepare to return to grounds in August.


We have previously circulated a pamphlet which explains the dangers of these devices, and make no apologies for condemning them again now. They have no place at football grounds; the management of our club will not tolerate them, and we at BST will not seek to defend or make any kind of special pleading for any fan who gets a ban for bringing them to the ground.


Membership Renewal


At a time when the very future of the game is grounds; up for negotiation, the role of Supporters Trusts has never been more important. Obviously, we are not yet in a position to predict what kind of changes may result from the FLR, but is seems clear that they will cement our role and may enhance our status significantly.


Annual and life memberships are still available, and now more than ever represent outstanding value for money. If you want to join us, we have a range of Membership options available and you can get more details, and take out Membership at any time, you may even want to upgrade your current membership to a Lifetime membership, should you want any more information simply contact Francis Charlesworth at

memberships@blackpoolsupporterstrust.com



BST Committee








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