Gazette Article Friday 12th January 2021
This week I have handed over the reins of Blackpool Supporters’ Trust to fellow committee member Andy Higgins, after three and a half years at the helm.
My association with BST started back in 2013 when SISA (Seasiders Independent Supporters Association) was formed and I became a member. We voted to become a Trust in 2014, at a time when our club was clearly in a crisis which would only get worse.
It is true that my involvement with BST (beyond simply being a member) came about in October 2014, when Jose Riga was sacked as Blackpool FC manager and the club was spiralling out of control. I phoned up BBC Radio Lancashire to express my opinion on their radio phone in and ended up having a bit of a rant! To this day, I cannot remember what I said but it was from the heart and clearly struck a chord with many Blackpool fans who were listening in. It prompted the BST Chairman, Tim Fielding, to ask me to be a spokesperson for the Trust and the rest, as they say is history!!
The last few years have been beyond extraordinary for our club and its fans. I am stating the obvious when I say that none of us knew what had been set in motion when BST became a reality and we began the long campaign that would ultimately save our football club.
My time as Chair has been dominated by the boycott and Not A Penny More campaign. Wars are fought on many different fronts and BST worked alongside a variety of fan groups, some of whom were also part of BST and some who were not. The coming together of the vast majority of supporters in our campaign to remove the Oyston family from our club is one of the most incredible collective actions I have ever witnessed or been a part of and still makes me emotional to this day. Our strategists and campaigners were drawn from across a range of professions and skill sets; who knew how many talented and utterly brilliant. Blackpool fans exist, not just in Blackpool or the North West but across the world? Cometh the hour, cometh the expert and we were delighted to have help and advice from the legal eagles, accountants, governance experts, business gurus and so on from within our fan base.
Throughout my time on the BST committee, and especially as Chair, I was acutely aware that not every Blackpool fan wanted to follow the path that the majority had taken in our campaign However, it was clear that we all had one thing in common, a love for our football club, and that was something which has united us in these post Oyston days.
I have been so privileged to Chair an organisation that I hav