I have not written a post in a long long time but the situation at my beloved football club has compelled me to write this post.
I have been a Blackpool fan for as long as I can remember attending both home and away. I got my 3 year old nephew interested early on with a season ticket and full kit. Yes his first season was in the Premier League but you can’t hold that against a 3 year old!!
I have attended every play off final and cup match in my lifetime supporting our team all the way.
For the first time in many years I did not attend a single game this season supporting Blackpool Supporters Trust ethical boycott and have also attended all protests. Now we find ourselves back at Wembley BST gave a somewhat mixed message by announcing on a forum that if the club wants supporters to back the team they should donate the gate sales to charity. This suggests encouraging fans to attend Wembley. I think the proposal was worded wrong but it did however cause some controversy leading people to believe the Committee were looking for an easy out to attend the game!
All season BST have stood by the premise that NAPM and empty seats are the way to send the Oystons and the football world a message, the majority of the fans have stood by that all season. Sunday 28th May is our biggest platform yet and we need to stand our ground.
Although I agree with the gesture, BST have made so much money for charity in the past I think we now need to concentrate our efforts on sending a stronger message.
As well as protesting on Sunday we need to show support to our players. They will be playing at an empty Wembley Stadium with no atmosphere from our fans so the least we can do is show them we are supporting them outside the ground. The players have taken us to Wembley NOT the Oystons.
For a team that has had absolutely no investment in them they have supported the fans and worked hard to prove their worth and drag us out of the black hole the Oystons have left us in.
Stand outside Wembley and protest if we must but we also need our team to know we are behind them and give them that one last boost they need.
The chants of “Oyston Out” fall on deaf ears as I suspect they always have but now we need to come together in a positive way and show them we really are NAPM unless serious changes are made.
This is the perfect opportunity to start building bridges and slowly mending fences. Invest in our team, offer them proper contracts paying realistic wages, as well as adding to the squad with quality players. They can’t do anything about court cases against previous fans (unless they give the money back!) but a public apology and a promise to lay off fans for having an opinion needs to be made. This has been made but I feel it is an empty promise.
Don’t even get me started on the training ground!!
I wouldn’t say I’m an Oyston hater but I am definitely not an Oystonite. I agree that when we won promotion it was an ideal time to recoup some of the investment made over the years, however the way it was done was underhand and unfair to both fans and players. We have had little or no investment since our relegation back into the Championship with players and fans being treated poorly.
Owen insists we reached the Premier League on a somewhat frugal budget (oh apart from the purchase of Charlie Adam courtesy of Belokon!) which is fair enough but he continued down that path paying himself more than the players, losing a quality team as well as managers and almost seemed to enjoy our downfall.
I feel this will happen again. If we win on Sunday he will no doubt take the credit and again insist it was won using little or no money invested in the team so why change a “winning formula”
Instead of rewarding players with proper contracts and realistic wages I fear we will slowly lose our players over the summer to clubs who know how to conduct themselves in a proper manner.
I do understand Owen’ business brain to a certain degree (I can’t believe I’m saying that) but to own a football club you need to have heart and soul with the drive to help your club succeed.
Sadly since the Premier League greed seems to have taken over the Oystons in turn ripping the heart and soul out of the club reaping all the rewards for themselves.
During Blackpool’s decline I think I gave them more of a chance than any of the people I used to go with. After years of fantastic football days out with great friends I gradually found myself sat on my own wondering what the hell I was doing there. I lost my nephew to computer games and Lego once the fun banter with the boys went. I think it became more of a chore to sit with his Auntie watching tumbleweeds.
I have always insisted I will always support one team and one team only and Blackpool took my heart since being a young girl. I have found myself losing all my friends, including my partner to AFC Fylde, listening to their great stories about the match and the wonderful and wacky people they have met. Week in, week out I found myself alone waiting for everyone to come back while I was watching the results but I didn’t waiver, I stood my ground hoping that the Oystons would make a major change.
Watching my friends and hearing their stories made me realise that is what football is all about. Meeting all these characters along the way, making friends to enjoy the experience of supporting our team. For the first time ever I am considering going to AFC Fylde so I can actually enjoy football again and with season tickets for under 16’s only £10 I think it’s time to get my nephew enjoying football again. A day on the train, banter with the boys and some much needed fresh air and football! Blackpool are sadly in danger of losing a generation of fans to AFC Fylde.
Football fans across the country have supported us at our best and worst times so on the 28th May let us stand strong and support the players. Lets stand outside Wembley and thank our players letting the empty stadium speak volumes to the world of football. We were once a sea of tangerine with 37,000 fans and now look at what the Oystons have reduced us to.
This is our chance to send a massive message and hope against hope the Oyston family will finally see the damage they have caused. We were once a great club with some of the most passionate fans in football, a club with character and passion which we deserve to get back.
If all this fails and we fail to deliver our message then we need to up our game to get “Oyston Out” and I will never attend a match while they are in charge.
Owen, you know what you need to do. We are sick to death of hearing your well rehearsed speeches, so much so we can repeat them word for word. Action is what is needed now. Now is the time to man up and show you do actually have a heart for our club.