We write this article after a grim, and fairly attritional draw at Cardiff that - while it yielded a decent result - was a good illustration of how difficult we are finding life on the field at the moment.
Christmas is historically a busy, important time for all clubs, and not usually a happy hunting ground for the Seasiders. Three games in the space of six days will test any squad’s resilience, and by the time you read this article we will have a much better idea of how we are bearing up.
As far as playing matters are concerned, many fans’ eyes will be fixed not only on the festive period, but also on the re-opening of the transfer window in January. Our wretched form in the last couple of months can in part be put down to a horrendous injury list ; but there seems little doubt that a refresh of the squad in key areas will be welcomed by everyone. It is hard to get “value” in the January window, but pity the fans of Cardiff City. Their team needs investment as much as any, and they were put under a transfer embargo this week. We are not alone in our suffering.
Going back to the two festive home games, we at BST will be looking on proudly as the grandchildren of two of our Members join the team on the field as mascots, thanks to the generosity of our Members as a whole. This mascot initiative is proving hugely popular this year. and is part of BST’s drive to help the club grow the fan base at the younger end of the market. These children are the next generation of Seasiders stalwarts - it gives us enormous pleasure to help them get started on that journey.
These initiatives cost money though, and a big part of our effort in recent months has been to find new ways to raise the money we need to fund this kind of activity. We launched the 1953 Sweepstake at our AGM in November, and have had a very pleasing response so far. But we want to get far more people signed up if we can.
As far as we know, ours is the ONLY prize draw out there which raises money exclusively for Blackpool FC, its fans and the community we live in. The club has long since stopped benefiting from other draws like Gold Bond, and if you want to put money into good causes in your local area - there is no better place to come than BST.
We are a not-for-profit organisation, which means all the money we raise will go out either as prize money or will go to the myriad of good causes that we support. If you want to help us, you still have time to join in before the next draw on January 7. It costs as little as £5 to enter, you can pay more in if you can afford to do so. Joining is very easy, and all the details are here :
As said above, our immediate focus will be on January. But there is a bigger game afoot, in terms of getting Tracey Couch’s Fan Led Review implemented, and it looks as though 2023 could be a pivotal year in this regard.
One of the side effects of the Conservative Party’s leadership travails this year has been that months of potential progress on reform has been frittered away whilst the Party talked to itself. Indeed, for a few weeks under Ms. Truss, there were real doubts about whether Crouch would go ahead at all.
However, things are looking more positive now, and there is widespread media speculation suggesting that a long-awaited Government White Paper might be published early in the New Year.
How radical and far-reaching this is remains to be seen. But it looks like there will be significant changes in the way that the game is run, and there will be accompanying proposals designed to give fans of clubs far more of a say in this. Meanwhile club owners outside the EPL will be watching anxiously to see how much redistribution of money in the game is actually delivered.
Clearly, all this potential change has implications for a supporters group such as ours. We will continue to play our part at the national level, but the big challenge for 2023 lies closer to home.
Our fans will need to be kept closely informed of developments, and how they will be affected. More of them may be asked to play a more active part in the future. At BST, we see it as a big part of our role to make sure that ALL our fans have all the information and support they need from us. If you want to be part of that process, and are not currently a member of BST, you can join very easily. Simply visit us at :
Life continues to be busy. The festive period is almost upon us though, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all Gazette readers and its staff a very merry Christmas, and a peaceful and happy New Year.
23 December 2022