Several committee members along with other supporters groups met with the Club on Wednesday to discuss the recent FA charge and crowd conduct. The Club issued today a statement which we have reproduced below.
The committee are fully behind this statement, and as fans, believe it our duty to call out behaviour that will bring the club into disrepute and potentially damage the chances of long term success for Blackpool FC
The Club met with local supporters groups earlier this week to discuss the recent FA Charge and the steps everyone must take to ensure Bloomfield Road is as welcoming as possible ahead of the upcoming season.
Following on from last month's FA Charge handed to the football club for a breach of rule E21.4, the Club felt it was necessary to call such a meeting to address the issues raised, primarily the use of discriminatory language and behaviour, as well as other incidents throughout the 2022/23 season.
The FA charge resulted in a £35,000 fine and an FA Action Plan being imposed upon the Club. Additionally, added costs including legal fees, intangible time of staff working on the case and increased policing costs, all have a significant further impact on the Club, which ultimately decreases the funds available for the playing budget.
In total last season match officials reported 30 separate incidents to The FA relating to the behaviour of home supporters in the North Stand at Bloomfield Road. These incidents included:
18 missiles thrown onto the pitch.
8 pyrotechnics ignited.
2 pitch incursions.
2 discriminatory incidents.
We wish to use this opportunity to remind supporters heading into the new season that, should these incidents occur, then the Club is at risk of further sanctions, which include:
Larger financial penalties.
The closure of a stand for a specified number of matches (partial stadium closure).
Full closure of the stadium where fixtures would be played behind-closed doors.
Should any supporter be identified partaking in such behaviour, they will be subject to Club and potentially criminal investigations, with the Club left with no choice but to enforce strict sanctions. This could result in a Club ban, a criminal record and even a football banning order which restricts freedom of movement on matchdays, and requires the surrendering of your passport when England, Wales or Blackpool play abroad.
With this kind of behaviour taking place regularly, police were in attendance at every home fixture last season. Again, this not only impacts the Club financially, but the wider community as a whole as essential resources are taken off the streets.
The Club firmly believes honesty and transparency with supporters is vital to improving everyone's matchday experience. Hosting engaging discussions with supporters groups, where all parties can openly share their views, thoughts and opinions is crucial as we all work together to tackle crowd behaviour at Bloomfield Road.
Supporters groups in attendance were supportive of the Club’s stance and future approach and will help in making Bloomfield Road a safer place for all. The Club will be running a number of initiatives over the course of the season to help tackle these issues, with a view to including as many supporters as possible.