AFC Blackpool given vital support in bid for bumper crowd

Picture: Steve McLellan
Picture: Steve McLellan
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AFC Blackpool hope for a bumper attendance at Saturday’s home match with Stockport Town in a high-profile bid to boost the cash-strapped club.

The Jepson Way club has been financially crippled by vandalism and break-ins.

The Mechanics are hovering just above the relegation zone in the Hallmark Security League first division and in danger of a second successive relegation.

Blackpool Supporters Trust have leant their support and issued a rallying call for people across the Fylde coast to turn out.

Manager Stuart Parker is grateful and urged people to get behind his side. He said: “There have been an awful lot of issues that have dented the club. We are stabilising and we have a great group of players with big hearts.

“We need 75 spectators to break even because of the costs involved at this level, so anything over 75 would be fantastic and would benefit the club.

“We’d be delighted to see anyone who comes along, and hope they will have a drink with us all after the game.

“They (BST) did this last year and we won! When they have been down before they have made an atmosphere. They have given us brilliant support and the players appreciate it.”

A club Blackpool added: “This is a vital game for the Mechanics as we need to ensure we do not get dragged into a relegation battle in what has been a difficult season for us both on and off the field. We want to plan for next season, when we aim to make big improvements around the club.

“We have the opportunity to kick on. Even after last season’s relegation, we have seen a rise in attendances, with more colour and noise which has earned praise from a number of the visiting sides.

“Even the support we take to away games has increased this season.”

The game is being promoted by BST as a ‘Break The Gate’ event to encourage as many fans as possible to attend and raising much-needed funds for clubhouse repairs and to help keep the club afloat.

The spokesman added: “We need to ensure that our future is in this league, so we need support on Saturday and in the remaining games this season. We are therefore delighted that Blackpool Supporters’ Trust are promoting the game to local supporters as a fundraiser to help out the Mechanics.

“The bar stock was cleaned out, substantial damage was done to the officials’ changing rooms, doors were damaged and other areas of the clubhouse were vandalised as well as the North stand.”

Saturday’s game will also feature a half-time demonstration of walking football by AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders. Admission is £6 (£3 for children/concessions).