Latest Posts by BlackpoolSupportersTrust
BST will be supporting this initiative tomorrow as part of "Fans Supporting Foodbanks" If you have any free time to come along and support you would be most welcome.
Collection for unpaid Bolton Wanderers staff tomorrow.
⚽️ 10:30am ASDA, Burnden Park, BL3 2QS
⚽️ 12:20pm ASDA, Middlebrook Retail Park, BL6 6JA
Please come down and show your support for the unpaid Bolton Wanderers FC staff. Look out for our purple van outside.
We will start at Burnden Park at 10:30am and drive up Middlebrook Retail Park for 12:20, we'll spend 1 hour 30 minutes on each site.
FOOD BANK COLLECTION FOR #BWFC STAFF TOMORROW:— BWFC Food Bank (@BWFCFoodbank) May 17, 2019
10:30am ASDA, Burnden Park, BL3 2QS
12:20pm, ASDA, Middlebrook Retail Park, BL6 6JA
Please come down and show your support for the unpaid Bolton Wanderers FC staff. Look for out for our purple van!#HungerDoesntWearClubColours pic.twitter.com/MCG1KohQ8h
Representatives of BSA, BST, MSG and TKs met briefly this afternoon at his request with Henry Teh, a Singaporean investor considering a bid for Blackpool FC. Mr Teh, whose portfolio of companies is involved in running airports and seaports, in infrastructure and township developments is looking to table an ambitious bid that would include key amenities in the town and not just the football club, making it part of a decade-long regeneration project for the resort. He conceded he had no expertise in the football business but if he became owner of Blackpool FC he would look to put in place skilled professionals to run it properly and restore its prestige in its rightful place at the heart of the community. He clearly does not underestimate the size of the undertaking. We thank Mr Teh and his associate Tim Williamson for their time and candour.
The final BST Gazette column of the season is up on the Trust website now, linked here: https://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/Site/LatestNews.aspx?NewId=203
It is probably not surprising, given the seismic events of the last few months, that as we approach the final game of the season affairs off the pitch at Blackpool FC continue to overshadow those on it.
In one sense, Saturday’s game at home to Gillingham offers little to play for except bragging rights with local neighbours Fleetwood Town as to who finishes higher in the league. More importantly, the game will be the climax of a Family Fun Day organised by Blackpool FC Community Trust with assistance for the first time from Blackpool Supporters’ Trust.
Much concern had been expressed during the extended boycott about the danger of losing a whole generation of young supporters. Now that we have our club back, Saturday is a great opportunity for local families with children to start connecting or reconnecting with their football club. The Family Fun Day event is completely free of charge and will take place in the North Stand Car Park from 3pm until 5pm. Blackpool’s game kicks off at 5.30pm. There will be a variety of activities for all age groups to get involved with, from a bouncy castle and face painting to penalty shoot-outs and mega football on a giant inflatable pitch and Fylde Coast Radio will provide the music. It should be a great afternoon and an important step in building a brighter future of our community club.
Once the final whistle goes, then work in preparation for the next campaign begins. A great deal was broken behind the scenes and it needs fixing. That fixing requires paying for. During the closed season, there are at least two essential projects which must be undertaken immediately. One is the replacing/repair of the pitch and the other is work on the East Stand (to be the permanent location for away fans). That stand will not be given a safety certificate unless the work is carried out. This is not BST ‘speaking on behalf of the club’; it’s an independent assessment of the situation.
While we await the sale of the club, the interim board does not have any income to finance these works other than what it can bring in via sponsorships, merchandise sales and most importantly season ticket sales.
There has been a lot of concern expressed in recent weeks about the risk of buying those season tickets before there is absolute certainty that Oyston doesn’t have a way back in, and before we know who the buyer(s) of the club will be. There has even been an inference that the Court Appointed Receiver (CAR) may saddle Blackpool FC with another ‘unacceptable’ owner and a lot of excited speculation ensued on social media.
To recap, the facts are these. From the appointment of the CAR on13th February, Paul Cooper made it clear that if Oyston can raise the funds and pay off the debt, the CARs job would be finished and Oyston would retain the club. He also made it clear that once the club is sold and the debt paid off, Valeri Belokon’s 20% shares could revert to Oyston. This is not new information, it has been clearly stated and has been covered extensively at two public BST meetings.
However, the stark reality is that for Oyston to retake control, he would first have to raise the funds, at least £30 million. He has already had almost 18 months to resolve the situation in this manner and has signally failed thus far. By the way, his debt to Belokon is increasing by a staggering £5,000 per day in interest. Thus whilst Oyston may well continue to disrupt and frustrate the selling of the club, for instance by circulating rumours of his impending return, it is highly unlikely that he will succeed in raising the necessary funds to complete what would in business terms be a suicide mission.
Even if this highly unlikely scenario should occur, he then has to negotiate the EFL’s Owners & Directors Test afresh. The EFL’s failure to apply its regulations correctly to Oyston in the past has now been exposed by a leading QC as an invalid position and BST shared this with the EFL and the football authorities two weeks ago. There is now no legitimate reason for them not to ban Oyston from being an owner or director not only of Blackpool FC but any football league club.
Finally, standing firm beyond all of the financial and governance hurdles are the fans and the community of Blackpool. Most Blackpool supporters who boycotted the club prior to Oyston’s removal would most certainly resume that boycott should he ever try to come back. In addition, the local business community has rallied behind the football club, recognising its importance to the community. The return of Owen Oyston would immediately destroy all the good initiatives that have already begun around the resurgent Blackpool FC. Having publicly supported and celebrated an Oyston free club, Blackpool’s business and Council leaders could not now go back to accepting the Oyston family as owners of the town’s football club again.
At their recent meeting, Blackpool’s Pride of Place Board agreed that due to the importance of a thriving football club to our community and as part of the town’s Agenda For Action, having the right owner of Blackpool FC is vital. Baroness Jo Valentine, Special Projects Director for Business In The Community, has provided BST with the following statement:
‘Blackpool Pride of Place Board is concerned that any future owner of the football club understands their important role in fostering links with, and contributing to, the community. We are making this point to the club and to the receiver.’
Whilst BST cannot state that there is absolutely no chance of Owen Oyston returning in any way, our considered opinion is that the risk is minimal. However, the risk to the club if we do not back it financially right now is huge. Evaluating that risk is a task for each of us but it is important to be sure that decision is based on facts, not rumour. For those who may be concerned that if they buy a season ticket and then Oyston returns, he would get their money, it has to be said that money will be spent as fast as it comes in; there will be no pot waiting for Owen Oyston!
As for new owners, BST understands that there have been a number of credible bids submitted for the club already. The deadline for submissions is 15th May. There will then undoubtedly be a period of several weeks while the CAR completes due diligence on the relevant bids.
The CAR has the responsibility to get the best deal for Belokon that he can (that’s his role as decreed by the High Court). BST is working behind the scenes to make the case that it also needs to be the best deal for Blackpool FC and the fans. The EFL has the responsibility to make sure that whoever the CAR decides to conclude a deal with is absolutely fit and proper to own and run Blackpool FC.
BST put out in the public domain two weeks ago quite a detailed list of questions we would ask of any potential purchaser and we hope the CAR and the EFL are taking those questions on board. The Trust is happy to talk with anyone who has lodged a firm offer for our football club. Our remit is to seek the best for the club, its supporters and the community of Blackpool and we will endeavour to influence proceedings by all legitimate means to ensure that the process is conducted in an ethical manner, with appropriate scrutiny and delivers the right result to guarantee that brighter future.
As representatives of Blackpool fans everywhere, BSA, BST, MSG and the TKs are united in our determination to see Blackpool FC rise from the ashes and become an exciting, successful and well-supported community club once again.
Blackpool fans have proved that they are loyal, determined and passionate supporters. We have come through some very dark years together, but a long-awaited change is underway and now is the time for us all to join together in rebuilding. We have finally got our club back and we need to contribute to its wellbeing in whatever ways we can.
Through the next few weeks, while we wait to find out who the new owners will be, the interim Board needs the practical and financial backing of the fans. The Board have listened to us and have done all they can to move us towards being a professional and well run football club. Now it is our turn - and season ticket sales are key.
We believe that reaching a target of 10,000 season ticket sales is achievable and collectively we will be backing a media campaign to encourage Blackpool fans to support the club in this way if at all possible. There is much investment required to ensure that important projects such as the repair of the pitch and the East Stand are completed during the closed season.
The challenge for us and our fan base it to become that well-supported club again and to provide in the process the revenue that is needed to help take the club forward – 10,000 season tickets. Together we can do this.
BST welcomes the message from Ben and Michael earlier this afternoon extending the £75 junior ST to all areas of the stadium with the exception of blocks L/M/N.
Thank you to the board for listening. The season ticket pricing matrix now looks reasonable.
BST urges all fans to get behind the club, buy their season tickets at the earliest opportunity and give the board the confidence that it can press ahead with its plans for much-needed summer investments.
The latest BST Gazette column, third in the series addressing steps to a brighter future, is up on the Trust website now, linked here: https://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/Site/LatestNews.aspx?NewId=200
It’s going to be a busy Monday…
BST’s General Meeting at the Bloomfield Club starts at 12.30 (until approx.. 2.00pm). The agenda is as follows-
1) Status Update plus Q&A on developments at the club (with Tim Fielding)
2) BST working with BFC Community Trust (with Ashley Hackett)
3) Governance Update – EFL & ODT, National Council, local elections et cetera
4) Plans for 2019/2020
5) Timetable for BST committee elections
Before that, the brilliantly talented Rob Purdon (Purdonkey) has a one-man exhibition running at the Excelsior on Lytham Road from 11.00 am – not to be missed.
Then there is the small matter of a local derby at Bloomfield Road at 3.00 pm.
Finally, airing at 6.00 pm on Radio Lancashire is Phil Cunliffe’s documentary about Homecoming Saturday and how Blackpool got its club back.
The latest BST Gazette column 'Season Tickets - A Decision To Be Made' is up on the Trust website now, linked here: https://www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.com/Site/LatestNews.aspx?NewId=198
New stocks of beanie hats (£9) and four different, very striking designs of scarf (£12) have just arrived and are available from today.
ALL training wear is on sale at 50% off from Good Friday onwards.
The BFC Club Shop will be open from 10.00am until 3.00pm on Good Friday and from 9.00am until 5.00pm on Easter Saturday.
Get on down, support your club and pick up some great buys.